A school is more than a building. As a vibrant community of students, staff, families, Old Girls, volunteers and other stakeholders, Girls Grammar more than reflects this. Every single member of our community is necessary to continue to build upon the school’s proud history of providing holistic education for girls. Without each individual’s input, we could not provide the depth and range of opportunities that make being a Girls Grammar girl so rewarding and memorable.
Term 4, with its incredibly busy schedule, is a good time to reflect on this. The number of events, activities and milestones highlight that education in the 21st century is not just about learning content within the confines of a classroom. It is about engagement in various forms that allows us to be curious, to collaborate, to build social networks, to problem-solve, to think critically and creatively, and to communicate. Importantly in a school community, we must also acknowledge our hard work, energies and dedication and celebrate our individual and collective achievements. Speech Night, which we will hold on Thursday 19th November, will provide a good opportunity for us to do this.
This week, I would like to acknowledge our teaching staff. Across Australia we celebrate World Teachers’ Day on the last Friday in October. Celebrated in more than 100 countries world-wide, World Teachers’ Day was established in 1994 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to recognise the role of teachers in society.
World Teachers’ Day is a good time to acknowledge that working in a school requires a great deal of time, dedication and energy. But it also requires a great deal of skill and therefore the impact of a good teacher cannot be under-estimated. Research shows that teacher quality is the single most important in-school factor influencing student achievement (OECD, 2005), outweighing the impact of any other school education program or policy in improving student performance (Jensen, Hunter, Sonnemann, and Cooper 2014). On a recent television interview, child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said, “The greatest predictor of academic success for any student is the relationship they have with their teacher”.
At Girls Grammar, we are blessed with great teachers who build very good relationships with our girls. Our teachers love working with young people, they want to make a positive difference, and they want to empower the minds of young women. I’d like to acknowledge and thank our teachers for being great educators and role models. I’d like to acknowledge the time and heart all our staff put into building relationships with our girls – I genuinely believe that one of the points of difference of Girls Grammar from other schools is the care, dedication, genuine care and priority they put into each and every one of our students.
I’d also like to warmly thank our wonderful P&F who are providing a fabulous morning tea to celebrate World Teachers’ Day – it will be genuinely appreciated, and very much enjoyed, by our staff.