“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around”.
Our College can be likened to a machine that to be successful needs its components to be running smoothly and finely-tuned with one another. No easy feat - a process of time, constant reflection and assessment. All the ‘designers’, ‘planners’ and ‘investors must have the same goals and outcomes in mind. All need to have their roles and responsibilities clear and all need to be prepared to give 100% to the project. I firmly believe our Southern Cross Schools College is fast on track to having this in place.
The technical procedures and processes involved in online learning is not to be flippantly set aside. There has been a great deal of education and discovery from all parties. Our learners are showing that they have the enthusiasm and determination to help one another through panic moments and to face uncharted waters. They are positive, they are brave.Their ‘noise’ is happy, their engagement joyful. They are bonding with one another and building a wonderful atmosphere within their Earth Circle.
I know that I have referred to the dedication of our mentors many times. The word dedication is not enough, and I use it in all sincerity for I am privy to much that others are not. The behind-the-scenes pressures of working with another institution, the hours of mental planning and consideration for timetables, lessons and submissions, their emotion that stems from their true desire to make things come together for the benefit of our school. They too, have had to learn, practise and then relearn the mechanics, all the while with the responsibility of their own families and personal lives. I am proud of them and so appreciative.
On top of this, it should not be forgotten that our mentors are working with thrill-seeking, risk-taking teenagers. Though our College is unique in terms of set up, our learners are still in the phase of their lives when subtle guidance, gentle monitoring and endless understanding, is needed most. In today’s world we must be so thankful that our teens are able to take the risks and make the choices they do, supported within an environment that due to its size, intimacy and sincere attention of their mentors, places their wellbeing at the fore.
Our College parents play an integral support role for the mechanisms of our online model. The questioning and quizzing of mentors to gain clarity for online tasks, assessments and processes, shows interest. The willingness to respond to communication and attend meetings shows appreciation, the acknowledgement that discipline structures to assist effective learning truly comes from home shows understanding and partnership. Most valuable of all, the words of encouragement, comfort and praise shows investment.
The crux of the continued growth and ultimate success of our College is that these components must be in sync. The drawing board will no doubt be relooked at and critiqued often, but the blueprint of our online hybrid College model is clear, carefully thought out and achievable. It has been proven to date that all is coming together. I am so grateful to everyone on our team.
Just because these arms of SCS are not new, does not mean that the amazing teams who manage these schools are not recognised and appreciated for their continued love, support and dedication. They too, are required to reflect, listen and make critical decisions each day. The demand on them to be on top of their game is high in these critical Covid times. Goal posts are moved and adjusted constantly, and they have had to step up and deal with the unexpected many times. However, they stay consistently positive and determined, they show resolve, and their priority is to always focus on your child’s well being.