Book Week! The kids live for it and parents and carers often dread it, for a costume is required! I’ll be honest, as staff, we are a mixture of a groan and a grin, for we too dress up. BUT the fact remains Book Week is a wonderful institution in this country of ours! As an educator, to promote books and reading and stories is one of the best things we can do! If you have been around, you will have read or heard my thoughts about the importance of reading being the heart and foundation of learning.
The national theme this Book Week was Find Your Treasure. What a wonderful theme, for books and stories truly are a rich treasure! However, for me the theme, got an extra little fist pump because it immediately made me think of the verse that has become central to much I have thought about this year. If you have been in my office, you will see it written at the top of my blackboard door.
For your heart will always pursue what you value as your treasure. Matthew 6:21
As people, our hearts are wired to pursue, be it a person, an idea, a goal, the list of what we might pursue is varied. What I have realised, in the thinking and reading I have done, is that what I pursue often shows me what I value. And it matters. For what I pursue often takes my time and energy and best.
I have done a lot of thinking around what it is I say I value and then what my life would show I value. There should be congruence.
As a school, I think about the same things. There is so much that we need to be involved with and doing. And yet, it matters that we know what is most valuable and keep those things front and centre amidst the doing. Three things that underpin what is valuable to us are found in our Core Values:
Authentic. Responsive and Transformational.
We want all that we do to be infused with these qualities, none more that the way we value Christ and people.
Your story matters for it is treasure. A couple of weeks ago, we had a combined staff meeting with DCS and listened to Aunty Pat Doolan, an Aboriginal elder, talk about how important it is for Aboriginal children (but actually all people) to know their heritage and family story. For in knowing these things we find roots and stability.
I want to encourage you to share your story and the things you have learned with your children. There are parts of my story, I would proudly tell and there are parts, I would not be proud to tell, but it is all worth telling, for it is a rich tapestry of lessons learned and wisdom gathered.
I will finish by telling you what I told the students after our Book Week parade. We are all living the story of Wellington Christian School and nothing is more valuable and a treasure to us in that story, than the students, parents and carers as central characters.
Let’s continue to live this story well and with grace. We are not perfect characters and nor will we ever be, but we are valuable characters and appointed characters right here, right now on the timeline of history.