My journey at St Luke’s thus far has nurtured my understanding of teaching strategies and structures that has undeniably enhanced my teaching practice. In a recent reflection about my teaching pedagogy, I was made aware that one of the aspects of the profession that I cherish is the sense of community among both the staff and student population. I believe that staff collaboration and acceptance is vital in cultivating a community that is proud to be the foundational face of the college. Armed with my trustee colleague, we endeavoured to create the first of its kind St Luke’s Teacher Tournament. The intention of this tournament aimed to untie the sincere divide between Foundations and School of Leadership teachers. My colleague, Joe, and I observed that the COVID-19 restrictions meant that the mingling between staff had generated an unforeseen divide between the two areas of staff; Primary and Secondary. As creative and innovative problem solvers in an ever changing COVID world, we ventured to unite the divide with something we know a little bit about… sport. In response, the Teacher Tournament was born. The first round kicked off with a gripping game of Netball that really tested the resilience of all players. As a novice player, I struggled to keep pace with the team. This experience definitely generated my new appreciation for the sport and more so produced lasting friendships between a small number of staff. The Teacher Tournament grew in its numbers to cover a range of sports including Oz Tag, walking, basketball before ending on a climax… Yoga! With an impressive turn out of 20 participants, the Teacher Tournament successfully ran for 5 weeks before becoming victim to the claws of a ‘new’ COVID-19 restriction. Yet, it achieved its purpose of fostering lasting friendships and cultivating a community of acceptance and hospitality.
As the staff culture expanded in solidarity, so did the Creative and Performing Arts. I am passionate about building a community that is underpinned by the expressive notion of the Creative Arts. In the spirit of the Lucan way, I teamed up with my colleagues to develop a CAPA culture that promoted students’ talents in Visual Arts and Music. I worked closely with exceptional colleagues and students during recess and lunch in order to develop multiple bands. These bands were given the opportunity to perform during a recess that ultimately put the CAPA team’s efforts on centre stage. For weeks following the performance, students continue to reminisce in the excitement of the event. This culture of acceptance, praise and recognition is something that I cherish as a teacher. Moreover, I endeavour to build upon this culture with a Stage 4 Art Exhibition. The Exhibition aims to capture the creativity, detail and expertise of our Stage 4 students that will have the entire school discussing the CAPA flair. The music and art teachers will join forces to create an event that is unforgettable. The exhibition is set to feature a playlist of musicians that will provide background music while different stages are invited to explore the artworks. The intention would be to have a virtual walk through component of the exhibition so that parents can share in the excitement in the ‘new norm’ COVID-19 world. I am excited to see my vision come to fruition and reflect on the expanding culture of St Luke’s.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up”P. Picasso