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Principal's Blog

Found in: Leadership Blog

So, the last week of holidays my wife and I went to Tasmania on a driving holiday. I used it as a chance to get on Facebook and upload some pics of the trip. I really hadn’t put anything on Facebook since a holiday the previous year.

There’s something creepy (or someones’) about Facebook. People like my sister Sharon (Shaz). She lives in Esperance on a farm (that’s not the creepy part). Any time of the day or night when I posted a photo……….WHAM!............. I got a like or a comment instantly. And I mean ANY time of the day or night. The creepy part is she’s not alone. They’re out there   lurking by their keyboards and screens, just waiting for us.

Hasn’t our world of communication changed? It’s not just the myriad “net” communications. I can sit in my car with my phone in the boot (it’s a small car), flick a paddle on the steering wheel and say, “Call <Name>” and a woman’s voice answers and obeys me. I love that on so many levels.

Every single person reading this knows these words: kindle, msg, upload, tweet………Yet one of the single greatest issues we face as a community is knowing how to communicate effectively. I’m not just talking about getting the message out. I’m talking about being able to speak, feel heard and able to use communication to build community. By that I mean solve problems and build good relationships.

Yesterday a colleague from another school asked me for some advice regarding an email where a parent was addressing a legitimate issue they had, but it involved these words “I spoke to one person, then another and finally after a long time and in desperation I’m writing to you.” To me the grieving words amongst those are “long time and desperation.”

Part of my answer was to encourage the building of a community where people can freely communicate. I know that I repeat this, but, I am completely (if not always immediately)  accessible. It is the right of every parent, student, teacher or extended member of this community to be heard and responded to by me and everyone else who works here. Get the message.

Just cause I’m in the mood, I’ll do it in rap.

Don’t hesitate to communicate/Cause it’s hard to talk if you’re already irate/first go to the one if you need some resolution/then get on up if you don’t find a solution/we need to all agree together that sorting the problem is always better.

If you know me you know I don’t mind talking. I’ll tell you why I so value good communication. In my early years I wasn’t a Christian. I was a bit of a hippy really, travelling around Australia “searching for truth.” I’d always had friends, but the process of travelling constantly had left me isolated, disconnected and feeling quite alienated from whatever “truth” was. The first time I heard the Christian message in a relevant way, was when I realised Jesus was a communicator “Behold I stand at the door and knock” “come unto me.”

That was the point at which I understood that it wasn’t me looking for God, but He calling out to me. I accepted that simple invitation and it was truly transformational. It’s in the heart of God to speak to us, relate to us, and help and up to us to offer that to one another.

Principal Rod McNeill