ATConnect All >

Agents in the Creation of Hope

It seems that life has its own way of unfolding and the only thing we can influence is how we react to life’s twist and turns. How we decide to look at life and more specifically the attitude we take forward is a big determinant of what lies ahead of us.

In some of life’s contexts, there is a saying that successful people make their own luck. I think much of this is seen in how we take a positive attitude forward. Interestingly Pope Francis touched on this thought in his Easter address. ‘“After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb” (Mt 28:1). We can picture them as they went on their way… They walked like people going to a cemetery, with uncertain and weary steps, like those who find it hard to believe that this is how it all ended. We can picture their faces, pale and tearful. And their question: can Love have truly died?’

Much of what Pope Francis challenges in today’s world, is widespread injustice, corruption, poverty and loneliness. In his Easter Address he eloquently challenged us to imagine the burden of loss that the two women carried on their faces when they went back to Jesus’ tomb. “If we try to imagine this scene, we can see in the faces of those women any number of other faces: the faces of mothers and grandmothers, of children and young people who bear the grievous burden of injustice and brutality. In their faces we can see reflected all those who, walking the streets of our cities, feel the pain of dire poverty, the sorrow born of exploitation and human trafficking. We can also see the faces of those who are greeted with contempt because they are immigrants, deprived of country, house and family. We see faces whose eyes bespeak loneliness and abandonment, because their hands are creased with wrinkles. Their faces mirror the faces of women, mothers, who weep as they see the lives of their children crushed by massive corruption that strips them of their rights and shatters their dreams. By daily acts of selfishness that crucify and then bury people’s hopes. By paralyzing and barren bureaucracies that stand in the way of change. In their grief, those two women reflect the faces of all those who, walking the streets of our cities, behold human dignity crucified.”

This is an all too easy a paradigm for us all too imagine. But the wider Easter story doesn’t finish here. The end that they believe was so final was not final. As Pope Francis explains, “Life, which death destroyed on the cross, now reawakens and pulsates anew (cf. ROMANO GUARDINI, The Lord, Chicago, 1954, p. 473). The heartbeat of the Risen Lord is granted us as a gift, a present, a new horizon. The beating heart of the Risen Lord is given to us, and we are asked to give it in turn as a transforming force, as the leaven of a new humanity. In the resurrection, Christ rolled back the stone of the tomb, but he wants also to break down all the walls that keep us locked in our sterile pessimism, in our carefully constructed ivory towers that isolate us from life, in our compulsive need for security and in boundless ambition that can make us compromise the dignity of others.”

The message for us all is that we need to see ourselves as being a carrier of the good news and not destined to be only on a path of despair. Our outlook on life is largely governed by the attitude we decide to carry around with us. Our faith in its simplicity is one of being agents of hope, of carrying the love we want to experience in our world. Pope Francis is inspirational in the powerful simplicity of his messages. While Easter can largely be a festive event in today’s materialistic world, there is an important underlying message for us all to remember. We need to see the world we hope for and unashamedly we need to know that we can actually be agents in the creation of this life we hope for.

Parent Teacher Feedback Interviews
A sound education is the basis for later life achievement for students and we see families as partners in a student’s learning because there is clear evidence that involved and positively connected parents increase student-learning outcomes. In this way parent teacher feedback nights are fundamental to supporting students’ learning outcomes.

Remember the goal of education is to help students develop respect for themselves and others so as to “develop into citizens who have challenging minds and the disposition to become active, competent, and thoughtfully critical participants in our complex world” (Hattie, 2012). The goal of parental engagement in their child’s learning is to influence your child’s attitude towards learning- their beliefs and confidence about learning and motivation and engagement to learn (Fox & Olsen, 2014). In this regard parents and teachers are on the same side and as a school we certainly respect and appreciate the different knowledge that parents bring to the table. Teachers broadly bring their professional knowledge about curriculum and appropriate levels of achievement for the students they teach. Parents bring their knowledge about what their child is like – their hopes and dreams. Achievement is greatest when both work together and respect the knowledge of the other as the student is the one who benefits.

I would encourage all parents to take up the opportunity to meet with their son’s teachers in the upcoming week. Parent-teacher feedback interviews give you a great opportunity to:
• learn more about your son’s academic, emotional and social development
• meet, get to know and build a relationship with your son’s teacher
• help your son’s teachers understand more about your child
• make plans with the teacher about how you can both support your son

Our goal is for all our students to be successful learners. One of our challenges is to develop the right behaviours in our students to place them where they can achieve their own personal excellence in their learning. A big part of developing these important behaviours is the relationship we have between school, home and students. The upcoming opportunity for parent teacher feedback interviews is an integral part of this ambition.
To book a meeting time with your son’s teacher/s please click here. A reminder, bookings close at 12 pm on Friday 21 April 2017.

With best wishes
Michael Senior