At Easter, we commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus and his glorious resurrection that continues to bring hope and life. Easter is not a one-day event but a season in the life of the Church. In the weeks following Easter, the Gospel stories tell us how the disciples, filled with doubt, fear, anxiety, disbelief and disappointment, encounter the risen Jesus. In these encounters, they are brought to faith. The Emmaus story so beautifully captures such a moment…
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the Scriptures to us?’ That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
On ANZAC Day we too remember the sacrifice made by not just one but many, who like Christ, were prepared to lay down their lives for others. Belonging to a faith community brings the responsibility to be peacemakers, to care for the poor, the lonely, the sick, to seek justice and to care for our common home. With the freedom our service men and women fought for, comes the responsibility of citizenship. In this time of isolation, we are being called individually and collectively to make sacrifices for the good of others, for the good of our wider community. This is what our country needs of us at this time.
Our College values are inspired by the life of Christ and the world He came to create. We trust that as our students take their place in society they act with justice, courage, compassion, hospitality, wonder and hope. Inspired by the resurrection and the spirit of the ANZACs may we continue to use the gifts we have been given to make our families, school and community places of peace, hope and love.
I expressed to someone this week that planning and responding to the times we find ourselves in is like ‘dancing on a shifting carpet’, a term used to title a book by educator Leoni Degenhardt. These times are calling for agile leadership, not just in schools but in every facet of our community. And, with any change, there are varying degrees to which people respond and adapt. A change such as this, which is unprecedented, is bound to bring challenges.
We acknowledge that remote learning has brought different experiences for students, families and staff. Some students have thrived in this new way of learning whilst others have taken longer to adapt and some might still be struggling. Similarly, our staff are still working to find out what is ‘just right’, which can vary for each year level and subject area. As we become more confident we are finding that more students are taking greater responsibility for being self-directed and independent learners. These are all attributes we hope our students develop during their time at Clonard.
What we know is we miss the human contact with our students. There are so many small nuances in the wonder of the teacher/student relationship that can’t be caught via online contact. I hope that as a result of this time our teachers will gain a higher level of respect and gratitude for what they do every day.
We recognise that we may need to adjust to ensure remote learning is sustainable for all. Student, family and staff feedback will help us as we continue to refine our practices. Our Wellbeing teachers and Year Level Leaders are already working closely with students responding to feedback received in the weekly wellbeing check in surveys completed each Monday. I thank all staff for their continued commitment to the learning and wellbeing of the girls at this time.
Families are asked to complete the survey sent via CareMonkey today if possible. We will resurvey families at the end of next week to monitor any changes or shift in experiences. Again, we acknowledge your support, affirmation, partnership and commitment to working with us as we find our way forward and through this period of time.
While you are away…
While our girls and most of our teachers are offsite, some staff who need to be onsite are working to ensure our College is at its best when we are all able to return. In the past week we have had a new Indigenous grasslands garden planted, the sick bay has had a makeover, all our signage has been updated and the green wall in the Brigidine Centre is receiving a refresh. Our support staff also packaged up all our Year 12 jumpers and sent them out to the girls this week. I hope there are some smiles when those packages arrive.
And one more thing…
Lastly, a reminder to families with Year 6 students that enrolments for 2021 close on Friday 22 May. Any enquiries can be directed to our Registrar Marianne Casanelia.
Take care everyone, stay safe and remember to #Lightupthedawn in the morning.