tai chi

Our annual school conference is a special way to end the year on a high that we all look forward too. I blogged about our last two events and this year we again pilgrimaged to the Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong. It was another rewarding experience. Reverend Yo opened the day with Tai Chi and the conference with some words of wisdom, including her own journey.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

The keynote this year was titled, ‘Respect – for healthier relationships and teams’. Barbara Becari (below) had her audience working in teams, laughing and having fun. Her message about respect resonated. Her reflective questions certainly had us thinking and I was impressed with the way Barbara managed and motivated her audience.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

The principal asked me to run a photography workshop and a large group enjoyed the photowalk around the temple, learning about basic DSLR photography as we strolled. Some are enthusiastic about macro and HDR photography too and we scoured the surroundings for subjects with some success. I hope to update this post with photographs from the participants in future weeks.*

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

We have a number of colleagues that are departing for other schools who were farewelled with much respect. Michelle C made two lovely speeches to farewell Renee and Jeannie. A highlight for all of us was Shane and Scot singing to Renee, serenading Renee, as she moves on to her Head Teacher position. I know Renee has a recording which she will undoubtedly treasure!

Best of luck Jeannie and Renee!

The school really appreciates the work of our temporary teachers and the school showed its appreciation to these important staff members. Thanks Mel, Dave, Rod and Grant for your great work at our school. You are always welcome back!

The Annual Staff Awards recognised the excellence of Shane, Renee, Andrew, Paul, Michelle G and Michelle H. Your colleagues appreciate the way you do work with students and make our school a better place. Thank you from all of us!

Trish L received the ‘Principal’s Award’ with her customary humour and special brand of magic that has been motivating her colleagues and students at the school for 29 years. Onya Trish!

I feel proud of the way our school operates. Sitting back and reflecting, watching the speeches and acceptances, the witticisms and good cheer, it made me feel privileged to work with such generous people. Dapto High is a very collegial place to learn and work! I agree with Renee, it is a Great School!

Andrew FitzSimons, our principal, has the right spirit and works tirelessly. His vision has resulted in this third annual conference with such a positive theme. It is a great way to culminate a hard year of ‘striving for better things’.

Finally, our colleague, John, has been ill in hospital and we were pleased that he could join us for this final day of the 2011 school year. Good to see you looking better, John!

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore 

* Here’s Wendy’s pics.



    • Andrew fitzsimons

    • 12 years ago

    Darcy has done a good job summing up our excellent end of year conference.
    The collegial spirit was special. Each of the options (meditation, Eat move live, 7ways at work and the photography walk ) had an enthusiastic following.

    Finished this challenging year feeling encouraged. Onward!

  1. This certainly beats your average SDD! If only more schools would think more laterally about what ‘staff development’ could mean.

    • Renee G

    • 12 years ago

    Truly – DHS is a most special place to work! What an awesome day we had….It is pleasing to know that we are not only focused on energising learning but also energising the teachers and focusing on our own resilience and well being! I had such a great day. A successful school is built on relationships and we certainly are focused on building that at this school! Makes me too sad to leave!!!

    • Karla

    • 12 years ago

    Hey Darcey,

    Cool SDD. At our school we have a weekend conference in Week 6/7 of Term 1,2 and 3 (Term 3 is mainly for Exec and Welfare Team). I like these ideas and will consider suggesting them for our learning conference in Term 1 and/or Leadership Conference in Term 2. Staff Development shouldn’t be boring and it’s good to see Dapto High thinking outside the square.


  2. I agree with the others here who have acknowledged how special it is to work at a school where you are supported as a whole person. Congratulations on the direction of your end of year SDD Andrew. Thank you, it was a privilege to work with all of you and to be part of such a reflective and enriching day. All the best to all of you for the wonderful work you do. May 2012 bring you continued insight, contentment and connection.

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