Whilst all of our values are equally important, this year we will explore one value in more depth. Our 2020 value in focus will be CARING, recognising that “to do well, we must be well”.
We aspire to work in partnership as a community to support this theme through our actions of:
We will be sharing this with our students and using the theme as our focus throughout the year. Some specific areas of attention will include:
- Caring for our environment
- Caring for our community
- Caring for our friends and family
- Caring for ourselves
As adults we all play a role in modelling the theme of care through our actions and our words.
Our students and children are learning from us every day and it is important that they understand the need for self-care, as this will be a skill that will benefit them into their life beyond school. I am conscious, as the leader of Perth College, to model “care for self” and, with this, care for the staff at the School because our students need to see healthy habits and our staff need to be at their wellbeing best in order to be most effective in their professional capacity.
Teacher quality is acknowledged in the literature as a factor that exerts a significant influence on student educational outcomes (Glewwe, Hanushek, Humpage, & Ravina, 2011; Hattie, 2012; Naylor & Sayed, 2014; Rowe, 2003). For example, Hattie (2003) noted: “excellence in teaching is the single most powerful influence on achievement” (p. 4). There is much research supporting the need for us to care for our teachers.
The nature of teaching itself has certainly changed over the years. Teachers are expected to prepare students for this complex world by developing their creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills whilst simultaneously delivering a mandated curriculum and assessing and reporting against this (Gonski et al., 2018; Yong, 2012). These complex and varied expectations on teachers impact teacher wellbeing and have the potential to adversely affect their ability to cope with the multi-faceted and demanding nature of the role (Smith & Lovat, 2003). Add to this the wide range of events and activities that are offered and supported by teachers as part of the learning and teaching program and it is clear that we have a responsibility to care for our teachers and model this care to our students.
I feel blessed to have such a committed staff at Perth College and I am confident that they will always go above and beyond to offer the students the very best learning opportunities possible, however, sometimes our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness and, as a community, we need to look after each other and ourselves. With 279 events currently planned for 2020 (and this does not include events that are still to be added), it is important to understand that no one single staff member is able to attend all events/activities and sustain a healthy wellbeing. Staff attendance at activities and events in 2020 will be shared and this includes attendance by members of the Leadership Team.
Our students will always have our support; however the support will be offered in a manner that is sustainable and models care for our staff and selves. Having witnessed the respect and care that our parent community has for the staff, I am confident that our parent community will be supportive of this strategy and speak proudly of it.