Year 12 students, together with Mrs Marlow and HSC teachers, spent some time considering what it takes to become, not simply proficient, but exceptional at a task whilst away on Study Camp last week. It is clear that the people who feature in these ‘awesome’ videos have carved away at their craft over many attempts – likely many years. Working towards this level of awesome would require imagination for the final product, possibly an exemplar to emulate and a criterion to judge themselves by. Fail videos confirm that success doesn’t happen overnight; there are many iterations of the attempts, feedback processed, as well as perseverance to stick with it until they could accomplish the goal, that has led to such success. The exhilaration communicated by so many people once they had conquered their attempt was palpable.
So, too, do our students have many areas of their lives where they have worked for over time, often for years, to become exceptional at a range of pursuits. Under the guise of our “Year 12’s Got Talent” event we uncovered a broad range of exceptional abilities evident with in the year group, including Caitlin’s incredible flexibility and expression as a dancer, Miles’ agility with his voice to create incredible beats, Satya’s melodic interpretation and skill as a pianist, and Lyndon’s extraordinary capacity for algorithms as he conquered a Rubiks cube, both one handed and then blind folded; it truly was awesome!
In exploring these talents amongst our students, they were reminded that this same dedication to refining their craft is what is required as they prepare for their final year of high school. Each of our students, from the ELC through to Stage 6, have the capacity to learn something extraordinary when they attend to growing that ability. Regardless of the pursuit, we know that what we attend to grows; wherever our investment of time and energy flows that’s where we will bear the fruit of our endeavours. Paul teaches us in Romans that “we have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6-8) In attending to these gifts we are glorifying our Lord, and thus must remember that, “… whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)
In considering the fruits of their labour, students acknowledged that the first area to attend to is our relationship with God and with others. The achievements alone do not count for eternity; it’s how we live in accordance with God’s will that is our first calling. Being awesome with the talents he has gifted us with is our next responsibility.
I am challenged to consider what I have been attending to in my own life and through that attention, what is thriving and what has been wiltering under neglect? Perhaps you, too, have areas that need some reflection and attention so you can grow the fruits of your relationships and pursuits, at whatever stage in life you are.
Linda Hogan Director of Secondary Teaching & Learning