Being a teacher in a Catholic school not only means we learn to improve our students’ learning, but also our ability to ensure the young people in our care become ‘good Chrsitians and honest citizens’ (St John Bosco). Four years ago we created and implemented a five year staff formation program outlining Professional Development in the areas of Christology, Catholic Church history, Liturgy and Scripture, Catholic beliefs and Spirituality.
On Monday 20 May, Salesian College staff participated in a staff formation day, our first in 11 years! Holding this formation day was part of a conscious decision to extend and continue our learning, rather than simply a one off experience. Our participation in the formation program will help sustain us for our journey with the young people in our care. It allowed us to pause and reflect without racing around or being kept to an hour timeslot afterschool. All Salesian College Staff attended, both teaching and non-teaching staff.
The day also provided us with a reminder about what it means to be in a classroom as a learner (rather than a teacher). Coupled with input and our new pedagogical practices it reminded us that learning can be messy, exciting, collaborating, sharing, thinking, reflecting, chaotic, a struggle, and requires persevering. It can be quiet, noisy, include discussion, questioning and laughter. It can mean having the courage to take a risk, trust in others, and make connections. It can be engaging, frustrating, empowering, and joyful. It can also create discomfort. However, feeling discomfort is part of learning. It means that we are expanding and adding to our knowledge. The activities presented reminded us that as learners it is not enough to just show up, but we need to let ourselves be seen, to be courageous and dare greatly.
The focus of our formation day was ‘How do we live and promote the Gospel in our school today? Beauty, Truth and Goodness’.
This ties in wonderfully with our Strenna, ‘Holiness is Happiness’. Some might ask ‘Why?’ A day such as this one is important because at some point we all (teaching and non-teaching staff) made a choice to work at this beautiful Catholic school in the Salesian Tradition. We understand that Salesian College is more than just a place of work; it is a place of Beauty, Truth and Goodness. A place where we all share the responsibility of spreading the joy of the Gospel in our various areas of responsibility, regardless of what they might be. Our boys need to see, hear and experience a community which promotes holiness, happiness, joy, optimism, hope, beauty, truth and goodness.
In order to facilitate the learning we invited Steven Lawrence to present to us. Steve is a husband and father of six, a former AFL Hawthorn Premiership player and a classroom teacher, a seasoned traveller, the Director of World Youth day 2008 and Director of the international school of mission in Rome. Coupled with his own experiences, his presentation aimed to help us understand that irrespective of our roles, beliefs and backgrounds, we can all promote the Catholic ethos whenever we live out or promote Beauty, Truth and or Goodness.
Mrs Nadia Knight
Assistant Principal – Faith and Mission