Our last day of the 2009 school year was spent at Nan Tien Temple. I’ve just made the pilgrimage home after a most satisfying day and felt the need to write a blog post about this uplifting, professional experience. I’d highly recommend the temple as a venue for professional learning and (re)growth.
The whole staff gathered this morning, many choosing to greet the day with tai chi led by Reverend You or a walk through the salubrious temple gardens. Our conference, Optimism & Resilience: Thriving as a teacher, administrator, as a learner was all about a holistic approach to school and individual wellbeing.
Dr Kathy Lacey gave a well-received keynote titled, ‘Revive’ which explored the nature of staying physically, emotionally and professionally healthy in the challenging role of being a 21st century educator.
Some good discussion took place following the keynote and into the second session, especially about leadership and mentoring.
A number of colleagues retired today and the school always has staff awards, as voted by the teachers. I felt that we celebrated excellence, past and present, very successfully and gave a great send-off showing heartfelt appreciation of quality work, over many years. Sally Golding and Ian Heffernan have worked at the school for 35 and 37 years respectively, Elizabeth Young since 1992. They have been highly valued colleagues and great assets to the whole community. Michelle Hartcher delivered a great speech, as did Janet O’Brien, who spoke ‘off the cuff’ with great eloquence.
To cap it all off the vegetarian lunch was superb, just superb!
I’d like to thank all my colleagues at Dapto High School for their collegiality and professionalism during 2009. Have a great holiday and a glowing New Year!
I look forward to to 2010 with great anticipation!