As Term one comes to a close, we have just commemorated the anniversary since we were forced to close our classroom doors and adapt, overnight, to online learning. The growth in professional competence and agility in reimagining how learning would look from the comfort of students’ homes may be likened to the adaptations experienced in the business sector where there has been much discourse on how business models successfully pivoted to meet new conditions and responses to the market.
As we grappled as a broader society to agree on what constitutes an ‘essential service’, what has become clear to me is that it is near impossible to predict, at this time, the range of employment opportunities that our children will be faced with when they graduate from tertiary studies. Universities have been similarly forced to pivot and respond to market forces, writing new courses and offering elective combinations to produce graduates who have both the technical knowledge and develop ‘soft skills’ for a shifting employment landscape.
Among the uncertainty one educational truth has emerged prominently in the past year: our Building Purposeful Lives Framework is an assurance that our students will experience learning opportunities to develop the range of skills required to adapt and pivot regardless of the context, so that they are equipped to cultivate lifelong skills for learning. These are the very skills that have so many adults have been required to draw on as we have each pivoted in our workplaces in the past year (and even at home as we immersed in remote learning!)
As we prepare to enter a season of Secondary subject selections in Term Two, it is important that our students continue to reflect on those pursuits that stir their emerging passions. God has gifted each one of us with talents through which we can serve our community. It is through connecting with these that our young people can listen and trust in the purpose for which they were created. As Paul reminds the Romans “… we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28). Thus, is it not for us to choose our purpose but to pay attention to those natural inclinations that help to light the path to discovering what our purpose is.
As the end of term assessments are submitted and students take a breath to rejuvenate over the holiday break and give thanks for our Saviour’s sacrifice, it is important to reflect on those learning moments that have lit their spark a little brighter so that students can notice those pursuits they would like to dig deeper into in the future. This will make the next phase of subject selection clearer along with good guidance from parents and staff who know them well. Together, we can help our young people prepare for the changing nature of 21st century living, where adaptability, agility and the ability to ‘pivot’ in adult life is well established during their formative school years.
Director of Secondary Teaching & Learning