13 November 2017

Staff and Student Wellbeing

The rush to begin another term after a long rest should remind us of the natural rhythm of life; there are times when things are busy and there is a lot of activity, and there should be times of quietness and calm. In our modern world, such distinctions are becoming more blurred, as everything seems to be switched on all of the time. Such frantic activity after a period of rest can also make us quickly forget the promises we have made to ourselves about living better, and it makes it more challenging to remember the things that are important to us. Below are a few of the things which I believe to be important, and I thought I would share them in the hope that they strike a chord with you as well. They are reminders for me of how to sustain positive wellbeing, and I shared some of these with the teaching staff before the commencement of term. I intend to talk at different times to the boys about these. You may like to talk to your son about them as well:

We all have more control over our lives than we sometimes want to believe

Particularly when we get tired, we can feel overwhelmed and powerless. However, we actually have a fair degree of power to shape how and when we respond to circumstances. Doing just one small thing, changing just a tiny aspect of our lives, can be the beginning of recognising this.

Hope

The most powerful of all things, hope is something we as staff seek to instill in our students. We hope - on a grand scale as well as in day-to-day matters. Without it, we cannot begin to make the world a better place.

Kindness and compassion are never wasted

These benefit both the giver and the recipient. They strengthen connectedness, both within school and outside it. Giving our time - to help someone, write a thank you note by hand, do something unexpected for another - is perhaps the most precious thing you can give.

Keep things in perspective

Things are often not as good or as bad, or as important, as they first seem to be. It is understandable that young people in particular struggle to see this, as they do not have the life experience by which to judge events. It is our job to help them to realise that setbacks can produce unintended and positive results, and that there are other paths to take when the one they are on seems blocked. And whilst school is important, there is much more to life than what happens in class.

Keep laughing

Laughter is a release; it can be defiance; it can be shared. It raises the spirit. It begins with a smile. And it is good for all of us.

Get out into nature more often

Watch the sun set, or rise. Get away from traffic and bitumen. Head in to Bold Park or King's Park, or walk along the beach or around Lake Claremont. We ignore the fact that human beings are animals, and we need to be connected to the natural world, even if there is not much of it left in built-up areas. It is important to remind ourselves of the wonder in the world.

For all of these, in all of these, I am reminded of a quote I saw during the holidays: "If not me, then who? If not now, then when?" If we want to make our lives and our world better, it can be done by starting with some small change in how we see ourselves and how we look at the world.

Mr James Hindle
Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing