There has been a recently developing field of psychology, led by Seligman, called Positive Psychology. Rather than studying what’s wrong with people in order to fix it, Positive Psychology studies what makes us work best, what really is life well lived and how do we do it?
Interestingly, they are discovering the importance of many biblical principles for living: other centeredness, forgiveness, and gratitude amongst them.
I would like to consider gratitude, or praise as it is referred to in the bible, for a moment. We know people who are inherently thankful, while others seem to find fault easily and we see the effect of each attitude in people’s lives.
CS Lewis, a Christian writer and thinker from last century, saw praise this way:
“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with……. Except where intolerably adverse circumstances interfere, praise almost seems to be inner health made audible.
I’m pretty sure our last entry in the newsletter for 2015 was a series of “thank you’s”. I’d like to begin 2016 in the same manner.
Thank you everyone for a great start to the year. On the first day I was at both the Primary and Secondary Campuses. Both were places of celebration. The Primary students were enjoying their first WOW days and themes from Wild Animals, and Transport to Whodunnit. They were also enjoying their new found freedom and expansion in returning to a solely primary campus. They rule!
The Secondary students were revelling in their new digs. The opening of the first stage is working wonderfully and the design really works. This is a facility designed with students and their learning at the forefront. First and foremost, it is comfortable and from the outset students are being responsible with this opportunity. The building has been designed to make learning visible and I am profoundly pleased at how this has lifted student behaviour and engagement in their learning experiences. That’s certainly something to praise and be grateful for.
The most frequent comment I am getting from parents is how excited our students are when they are coming home and how much they have to say about their day.
On another level, it is impossible to explain how much work has been done by our staff and what long hours have been put in to open the two campuses: administrative, building and maintenance, and teaching staff have been dedicated and good naturedly willing. We are systematically working through the inevitable glitches and I thank parents for your understanding, patient support and encouragement.
Finally I’d like to boast about us. As many of you know SCEA initiated the most extensive survey of community attitude in all of our schools last year. All parents, staff and students from upper primary school and beyond were asked to respond. I haven’t seen the actual data yet, but the CEO Stephen Lee informed me last week that our college had the highest approval in our association in all areas: student, staff and parent satisfaction.
I’m grateful for who we are, where we are and where we’re going.