At the March Annual General Meeting, the current management committee was voted into office. As it happens, this committee is almost entirely made up of new members, so a real part of our work in this first semester has been to develop our ways of collaborating, to become familiar with each other’s ‘modus operandi’ and to acquaint ourselves with the overall picture of the school’s state of well being.
It is an ongoing task of every management committee to establish and maintain open communication with teachers and parents. This year, we have initiated joint meetings of management, parent council and College. We have held public meetings to share our view of the school’s current position and canvas ideas for moving forward.
We are sending representatives of management to class meetings so that parents may air their questions and issues within their class community group.
Also, we are well aware that still more is needed.
For a school like ours which needs to generate much of its own income, there are always questions about the priorities for spending those hard earned $$dollars$$. At the same time, there is also much to be grateful for because we know that everything that exists at the school, from buildings to flower beds, are there solely as the result of vision, hard work, sacrifices and love. Many who contributed are no longer here. Many will benefit still from our contributions when we have moved on.
We have set ourselves difficult tasks. We do not have a principal and a straightforward hierarchy of authority / power, we are striving for a truly co-operative social order. This means progress on projects, issues, development may be slower and more convoluted. Each individual who contributes has gifts and needs which reflect their own perspectives and values. None of us need be reminded of how varied these can be and how much work is required to come to shared understandings and plans of action.
To return to the working of the management committee specifically: In order to make some advance on the many issues we are dealing with, we have decided to alternate ‘current issue’ meetings with long-term strategic planning meetings. This will enable us to think on the ‘Big Picture’ calmly and intensively – this is very necessary. It will mean that some current issues wait four weeks (we met fortnightly at the moment) to be addressed. We are all too aware that our response to letters etc is already slow and I would like to apologise to those people who feel their correspondence or queries have not been properly dealt with. Please be patient with us. We want to do better. We’ve volunteered our time but often it is just not enough to do all issues justice.
After nearly ten years’ involvement with the school, I have great faith in its future and in the people who have and will come to ‘carry the load’ for their time.
As a teacher, I see every child in the school from pre-school through to class 7. Just when I think I know the children, they surprise and inspire me anew with capacities, thoughts, attitudes, ideas I hadn’t expected (or thought possible)! I am very grateful for this. It is this childlike capacity we need to cultivate as adults too to be able to listen freshly, free ourselves from habits, relax in our judgements, find and maintain trust in the instinct which brought us together here.