Flashing TV Lights
19 September 2018
Not too long ago, I sat in front of the flashing TV lights with hope. Though I was on the other side of the world, I felt the rawness of every moment, as there was a growing possibility that England could find itself through to the World Cup Football (aka soccer) Final. There was just one small obstacle: Croatia… a country with a population of only 4 million people, but also the birthplace of my wife’s parents! I initially felt divided due to the deep sense of pride I have for my place of origin, balanced against the potential that the result of this match could mean no dinner for me for a week. However, I sided with the English Squad and hoped that every kick would be for England, each save would be for Harry and Meghan, and every goal would be for the Queen.
Well, Croatia had other plans. When Croatia won and eliminated England’s hopes, I didn’t sob or sulk (though I did share a solitary tear as I knew Lizzy - Queen Elizabeth II - would have been disappointed). Instead, I was struck by the immense sense of connection one can feel for a sports team, or perhaps a contestant from The Block, or the latest ‘must do’ activity. But that’s not altogether surprising, as it is a human need to belong, to be part of something more, and to contribute in some way to that community or group.
Recently, I sat with other teachers and school administrators to discuss the power of the Avondale School community. The comments were robust and evaluated the elements that make up our community, be it in the classroom, on the wider campus, in the local Cooranbong area and beyond. Underpinning the whole discussion was a clear team motto: Avondale School is intentional about developing a community of belonging.
As a group, we applauded the goals we had historically aimed for and achieved, we lamented missed opportunities, we high-fived the steps taken by individuals and teams to ‘score’ the right outcomes for students and families, and we shared our ‘game plan’ for the future good of our school community. That vision encompasses a desire to see each element of the School build and focus on a community that fosters a sense of belonging for all.
Whether we are students, parents, carers, friends or staff, we are all part of this amazing Avondale School community. We each have a role to play in connecting with and growing our students as they prepare for the greater game of life. Together, we will coach and cheer for them every step of the way. And when the whistle blows and it’s time to review the year that has been, we will be glad we all belong to the Avondale School team.
Stage 2 Coordinator