“Raise your thoughts a little higher,
Use your words to inspire,
Joy will fall like rain,
When you speak life with the things you say.”
‘Speak Life’ by Toby Mac
I have two teenage children and they love their music. As soon as we get into the car the iPod is out and being connected to the car stereo system.
Each week millions of Australians, including myself, enjoy watching one or more reality television shows. Certain phrases have now entered our vernacular from these programs such as: “You are not the Biggest Loser”, “Get out of Hell’s Kitchen”, “Australia has Spoken”, “You are not America’s next top model”, “You’re fired”, “It’s a NO from me” and “The tribe has spoken” to name but a few. Essentially these shows are different versions of the same scenario. It is a competition of survival of the fittest.
Teachers and students greeted one another in a buzz of excitement as the new school year began.
Our maintenance and development Team have been working extremely hard to refurbish many new learning spaces and to prepare the grounds and facilities for the return of our students. We are glad to be back and we look forward with keen anticipation to a great year of learning for everyone in our Flinders community.
On a brisk morning in the early days of May, 1979 a newly elected British Prime Minister took to the steps of Downing Street, London and addressed the world as England’s first female Prime Minister. In an iconic speech, Margaret Thatcher spoke of a future for Britain beyond the doubt and despair that plagued the nation at the time. Fittingly, in the midst of her speech, Thatcher referred to the famous St Francis of Assisi prayer with particular emphasis given to the phrase ‘where there is doubt, let me bring faith’.
Our youth are growing up in a world that is more socially connected than at any time in history. With the blink of an eye, at any time of the day and night they can communicate with family, friends or foreign folk, some of whom they would never expect to meet ‘in the flesh’. Yet in the midst of this communication revolution we keep hearing that our youth are showing all the negative signs of being socially detached. Parents of once chirpy and communicative children complain that as teenagers they are aloof to family interactions and respond to parents in monosyllables.
Last weekend we went to a Farmer’s Market and purchased a young tomato plant. Now I am not a very good gardener, although I would love to be one, so I sought advice from the seller regarding what to do to get a good crop of tomatoes. She talked about fertilizers and watering and then proceeded to remove quite a few leaves from the base of the plant. She said we should plant it in good soil right up to where she had removed the highest leaf. This was halfway up the stem so I was a bit taken aback!
Junior School – Tyabb campus has an assembly each Monday morning. This is a time for the whole of the Junior School to gather together as one group. It is a time for celebration, recognition of accomplishments, receipt of awards and certificates, and for students to demonstrate their skills, talents, abilities and gifts.
Last week our baby granddaughter was born to my son Charles and his wife Joylene. Violet is their second child and I spent much of last week with Mercy, her big sister, who is now 2. Whilst there was great excitement and celebration about the safe arrival of baby Violet, I was equally awestruck by spending time with my delightful toddler grandchild.
What is your idea of a family? In recent times our society’s notions of ‘the family unit’ and what that looks like has changed. Gone are the days of a typical two parent household with two or more children, the family unit has become much more flexible by definition.
Professor John Hattie is the Director of Research for The University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education (MGSE). Most of Professor Hattie’s latest work is about factors that enhance student learning. He says the most powerful single influence enhancing student achievement is feedback. Quality of feedback is important as is the timing of the feedback and how that can influence the future teaching and learning of the student.
It is widely agreed by members of both sides of politics that former Labor leader, Kim Beazley, was a very decent man. I personally held him in high regard. It is always very sad to watch the speech of a recently defeated leader. A complex emotional mix of shock, betrayal, confusion, despair and powerlessness often emerges from the quivering lips of the deposed. On Monday 4 December 2006, Kim Beazley was voted out of the Labor leadership. As he fought back tears, stemming not only from his defeat, but also the grief of his brother’s death a few days earlier; he made the statement, “Family is everything! Family is everything.”
Heinrich, the chicken farmer, was born in Munich in 1900, the second son of a respected Catholic school teacher. Some distance away, across the Austrian border, lived a brooding 11 year old boy, prone to angry outbursts, who bitterly resented the life into which he had been born and who dreamed of becoming an artist. Had their paths crossed in those early days of the twentieth century, there would have been few clues to enable young Heinrich to recognize the boy who would one day plunge the world into the most devastating war in history but, as events unfolded, their paths did eventually cross after all.