Our Fantastic Students
There are over 1150 students at Bairnsdale Secondary College. That translates into lots of individual interactions on a day-to-day basis. None of these students are perfect. None of the staff are either. Come to think of it, none of the parents are perfect...so that makes all of us!
I read with interest about some of the unfortunate stories coming out of Melbourne High Schools this week. Students causing disruption is a worry...but not surprising given they represent everyone in the community. Couple that with the challenge that adolescence represents and it is not surprising that sometimes these young adults cause issues.
Our school represents our community. It is imperfect. We would all like to think that every person walking in through the school door would do so without any problems - but that is a dream.
Overwhelmingly, the vast majority of our children are wonderful. They are kind, humble and caring. They wake up each morning willing to look the world in the eye and give it their best shot. Some children arrive at school, however, under less than ideal circumstances. Some have not eaten, slept or been made safe the night before. It is tricky for them and challenging for the staff and students they interact with in classrooms and yards.
The whole staff are about to embark on a new journey in Term 4. We have worked to tighten up our expectations and applications of rules. It will be challenging for some students and families as it will mean that some behaviours that may have slipped in the past will no longer be tolerated. Families may get 'unwanted' calls from the school holding their child to account for behaviours that are unwelcome in the social context of the school. It might get tricky for all concerned - but we are comfortable that making our school a safer and happier place is the right moral thing to do.
For the hardworking student who comes along to school to feel safe, happy, connected and achieving - the application of these standards will be welcome. I often get students in my office complaining that they have trouble concentrating when others are too loud or disruptive. This has to change. Too much time is being wasted on behaviours that are unwelcome in the school setting.
This work will not be easy and it may not be popular with some....but that might be the cost of the good order we build together.
If I had one wish it would be this....if you get a call from the school holding your child to account for behaviour that is not acceptable....back the school up. Support the change. Reject your child's behaviour for the greater good of the community.
A society should be judged by the way it treats its children. The "anything goes" mentality is dangerous and destructive for young minds. They need boundaries as well as freedoms.
I want to repeat....our students are amazing. I believe that with all of my heart. Now they need to behave 'amazingly' so their lights can shine bright.