A ‘shout out’ to my colleagues

With the benefit of hindsight, this year was going to be like no other.

Fast forward to the end of Term 1, the landscape had changed significantly.

Our teachers at St Catherine’s shifted into overdrive. They shared experiences, knowledge, trialled new platforms and did extra professional development, determined to provide a smooth transition into online learning for our students.

The challenges we faced relating to adjusting to operations and delivery of curriculum at the beginning of the lockdown seem so trivial now. Instead, from the learnings we have obtained from teaching in an online platform, we find ourselves wanting to enhance offerings and develop new ways to move forward each week.

By nature, teachers are kind, caring and thoughtful individuals. Despite often hearing the throw away comment from others that ‘we are in it for the holidays’; the truth of the matter is, that teachers are part of a profession, who are members of the society wanting to make a difference to a person’s life.

We are sincere in our intentions to enrich, develop and provide hope and opportunity for a young person to be the best version of themselves. Teachers respect and value differences in each young person they teach, and aim to encourage them to share perspectives, experiences and values to enhance and broaden the minds of their peers.

Everyone working at St Catherine’s plays a significant part in the journey of a St Catherine’s student. Maria and Sharon at reception, Peter and the boys in maintenance, John and the gang in ICT, Kerrie and the team in Marketing and Admissions, Jac and her Advancement team, Mike and his Business team, our nurses, café staff, Boarding staff, instrumental Music teachers, coaches; the list goes on.

However, in my article today, I want to give a big ‘shout out’ to those colleagues who, day in day out, are on the frontline supporting our students in 2020. You are the special ones!

Teachers have continued to provide a learning environment to allow students to engage, think, create, question, analyse, discuss and push boundaries. Recently, we recognised World Teachers Day, in recognition of all that teachers give and do for a young person to be the best version of themselves. Some teachers have told me that they have received heartfelt messages from some students on this day.

Prior to the holidays, St Catherine’s Staff received a token of appreciation from the Leadership Team and a kind message from our Parents’ and Friends’ Association. This random act of kindness was a small gesture to recognise and thank our staff for all of their hard work during COVID-19.

We recognise our teachers have worked exceptionally hard to keep the girls (and boys) at St Catherine’s engaged and stimulated.

Our Heads of Year took time to send messages to each student during the holidays.

As teachers, we know that despite the excitement that will surround us all being back at School in the following weeks, the challenges are still present. Our staff are dedicated professionals who are exemplars in our profession.

St Catherine’s Staff, thank you for sharing your expertise with your colleagues and our students and for being a part of the St Catherine’s family in 2020. We appreciate you!

World Teachers Day is officially recognised in Australia on Friday 30 October, 2020.

Pauline Van Der Poel, Director of Planning and Organisation/Careers Practitioner