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26 July 2019

posted 25 Jul 2019, 17:42 by Carolyn Brett
Welcome to the second half of the match! It’s great to be back and I’m looking forward to building upon the successes of the first half and reaching the peak around mid December!

A school’s ‘year’ is interesting and all definitely have a distinctive pattern. The third term takes on its own personality - we know the children well, we are well into working with whānau, we also annually really magnify our children’s artistic pursuits with a whole school Arts Celebration - which is always a stunner! This will take place from 5.30pm to 7.00pm on Wednesday 21 August and Thursday 22 August.

Over the school break, I came across an article from one of our educational go tos - Professor Yong Zhao. An introduction to his 2018 book caught my attention “Stop Looking at My Bad Leg - Reach for Greatness”.

Yong Zhao shares the story of Benjamin Franklin and how he had a philosopher friend who used his two legs (one ‘handsome’ and one not so) to determine whom to avoid as acquaintances. It was all about where they put their focus. One always finds beauty and good and the other - well - you can guess. 

Although this anecdote is over 200 years old, it can easily be applied to education in 2019. Children don’t always have the luxury of knowing where to apply their focus and that’s our job as the adults in their lives to guide them. They all have strengths that need to be identified and then ignited. As Yong Zhao says - we can all work very hard to fix the ‘not so handsome leg’ and completely ignore and potentially harm the leg that’s in fine form. A slightly odd way to look at a child, I realise, but it really resonated with me and the way in which we try hard to keep this strengths-based approach front of mind in our work. This is another reason I love whānau days, sports days, the arts, the play, the making, the creating, the questioning, the collaborative work ……. for some of our children this is where they totally shine. It’s ‘their thing’.

Education, after all, is about the whole - the academic, the physical, the emotional, the social…., it’s about building character. Roll on Term 3 and I’ll be thinking about that philosopher friend!
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