Tuesday, February 8, 2011


In a school with strong personalities, bullying can be a real problem. Typically physical bullying with the boys and psychological bullying with the girls. Bullying can and does break good students. A success story of our school is the lack of bullying despite public perception.

It is one area of the school where the middle school and the counselling group excels. The kids that come through to the senior school typically aren't bullies; those that try get counselled to death and the source of their bullying painfully exposed. I can't imagine being told "you are a bully and you need to have a look at yourself" is a wonderful experience.

There is always room for improvement. Especially with new kids. Assimilation can be tenuous at time especially in well settled groups. Each teacher needs to be conscious of isolates within a class and subtly discourage them. Each teacher needs to be conscious of niggles that rise during the year. Each year an issue defines a group: race issues, bitchiness, physical agression, complacency, lack of work ethic, teacher conflicts, lower than expected performance. How we deal with those issues makes or breaks a year group.

A nice thing is that regardless smart students at our school are looked up to - there are safe areas in the school for them, for the weird kids, for the popular kids, for the sporty kids. Inside a class anyone can answer a question without fear of a smartness stigma. Amongst all the "over" worldliness of our kids is an innocence that comes with a lack of funds and a questionable future. There are few students that have a future guaranteed by a parent's bank account. Education is one pathway out of the poverty trap. It's a source of pure hope.

It's a real responsibility to find a pathway for this hope through education into the workforce for each of our kids, whether VET or TEE and we all have a part to play.

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