Tag Archives: Value

Crucial Conversations – Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler

Two graphics from the book which I found helpful:

CC model

Summary model

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What a talented bunch

“For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents…”

Matthew 25:14-15

‘Talent’ is an interesting word. For us today we use it to refer to a particular skill or gift a person possesses. For example, “John has a talent for singing” or “Jane is a very talented skateboarder.” But in Jesus’ time the word was used as a unit of money.

So it goes in the parable set for this week that a master goes on a journey and leaves an amount of money with each of his servants. The servants do different things with the money. Some invest it well and receive a reward while one, through fear of punishment, does nothing than hide it in a hole.

This past fortnight has been yet another reminder of the wonderful talents that God has given to our students. Across various academic tasks, in art classes (a wonderful example is seen below), on Sports Day, during the visit from the Australian Youth Choir, it has given this principal great pleasure to see all of our students demonstrating their individual and wide ranging gifts to the world.

As I reflect on this parable I am taken aback by our duty as school staff and parents to ensure that the young people in our community don’t bury their talent through worrying what others may think of them. Creating an environment where young people feel safe and supported to explore their gifts is core to what we do at SCS.

In a world that increasingly seems to have little value for talents that do not bring fame or fortune, it is more important than ever for us to celebrate the wide variety of gifts God has blessed us all with. We must know that God always grants us gifts so that we may use these to serve others.

May we remember daily the rainbow of gifts and talents our loving God has given us all.




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What would I look for when hiring school staff?

Last week a @Danhaesler posted a graphic (reproduced below) exploring his thoughts when thinking about hiring school staff.

So what about this principal’s thoughts? At a teacher meeting this week I asked all of the teaching staff at my school to come up with their own. Mine is reproduced below. There are a few underlying ‘non-negotiables’ present in the questions.

if yes come teachI encourage all educators to have a go at this. It provides a wonderful way into clarifying the educational values of both individuals and schools.

Let me know what you think via twitter.

@Danhaelser’s thoughts:

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Who do you say I am?

Lovely graphicIn the gospel reading for this week Jesus asks his disciples “Who do you say I am?” The disciple Peter’s response is “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”

All the school staff at Sunshine are committed to continually improving their practice and this week it was the principal’s turn to pause and
reflect on his work in the school. I thank the staff, students and parents who participated and provided feedback in order to assist me to get
better at what I do.

While I have not seen the report yet I know there will be some encouragement for things that people believe me to be doing well and also some things that I can work to improve.

It is so easy when faced with situations like this to believe that we are only what others say about us. It is so easy to allow our self-worth to be defined by the thoughts of others.

This morning’s assembly was another reminder of the wonderful gifts our students are blessed with. We saw some students receive awards for Mathletics, ICAS Science and ICAS Writing. The 1/2 students
presented their creative representations of the creatures of the oceans. The 5/6 class presented photos showing the many activities that they undertook in Canberra – these photos were evidence of a strong
commitment to looking after each other.

Even so, the worth of our students are not measured in the varied gifts they possess. To follow in the thoughts of the disciple Peter, our students are indeed ‘children of the Living God’. They were infinitely valuable to our Creator before they took their first breath and before they could achieve anything in their own strength.

May we all remember that we are more than what people say about us. We are all precious children of God and have boundless worth to Him.


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Greater than NAPLAN scores

Ein Gedi Waterfall, Israel (Photo: T Brennen)

Ein Gedi Waterfall, Israel (Photo: T Brennen)

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life..
– John 14:5-6
It is a well known fact that the earliest Christians were known as ‘followers of the way’. It almost sounds like a cult doesn’t it? It sounds like the kind of group that might end up on the television news! I like Thomas’ honesty here. He was a very straight forward kind of guy. He wasn’t afraid to ask a question when he didn’t understand. It sounds like he was a committed learner.

For some of our learners this week the focus has been the completion of NAPLAN tests. Completing these tests can be a challenging experience. I congratulate both the teachers and students for their conduct this week. It was a very smooth and focussed experience.

Some say the measure of a school is their NAPLAN scores however I am not one of those people. We have seen our students achieve some good results in NAPLAN tests in the past – in fact, 100% students who attempted the test last year were above the required national level. However, I don’t think that following the ‘way’ of thinking that high NAPLAN scores alone will lead our students to success in life.

As a school we seek to develop our students across all areas. Our mission statement reads “We commit ourselves to the best of our abilities to develop the potential of each individual; spiritually, academically, physically, creatively and personally.” This is the Sunshine Christian School ‘way’. Thus the picture below, of 4 new prep friends working together to creatively built a sand castle village brings this principal a similar, if not greater, sense of pride than what comes with high test scores.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life – he showed us how we should conduct ourselves in this world. He demonstrated great passion for intellectual argumentation but also worship, prayer, relationships, healing, helping, supporting, teaching and challenging.

Jesus sets an example for us to follow. It is my prayer that Sunshine Christian School does not just support our students to become fully developed people, we support the staff and parents to do the same.

May God bless us all with opportunities to grow into fully developed people of God.


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