Learning. Believing. Achieving – Week 2 Term 1
Date: February 9, 2018 Posted by: Alana Ripepi
I was interested to read the discussion recently in the media regarding smart phones in the classrooms of Australian schools. Schools vary greatly in how they administer the presence and use of phones – we have all visited schools where many students are on their devices during break times. This takes away from the development of the more traditional social skills such as conversation, interaction, and relationship- building. Of course, it also means that kids aren’t exercising as much.
However, Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham has recently called for smartphones to be banned in classrooms. This was in response to a report in the Senate that showed complaints about cyberbullying to the e-Safety Commissioner had increased by 63% in the 12 months between 2015/16 and 2016/17. Experts have also suggested that schools risked being sued by parents of cyberbullying victims over messages sent during school hours.
It remains to be seen what the government decides to do. At TAS we do not allow mobile phones to be used at school during school hours, unless (i) permission is given by a teacher for a specific educational purpose, or (ii) under supervision after a student request to use their phone. Students caught with their phone turned on during school hours have their phones confiscated. Whilst sometimes the students can grumble about this, we feel that there should be some spaces where students are free of the grip of social media.
I have really enjoyed watching the induction of our young school leaders from KBJ, WRJ and WRS. On Friday 9th we welcomed Bishop Bill Ray and Mr Curtis Pitt, MP for Mulgrave, to our senior leadership induction service. As usual, our Bishop expressed his fondness for TAS and gave a sermon of great energy and engagement.
I focussed my address to our student body on gratitude – something that can occasionally be overlooked in this modern world of instant gratification and egocentric behaviour. All of us, but our TAS students in particular, benefit from reflecting on
- How lucky we are to members of the TAS community
- How lucky we are to have the support and love of parents, carers and families
- How lucky we are to have to abilities and opportunities to help others and make a positive difference in someone else’s life
- How lucky we are to be in a school community where the staff work hard to ensure students have the best possible foundation for the future
- How lucky we are to be able to launch into each stage of our lives with confidence and positivity
Both myself and the Bishop reminded our student leaders and captains that servant leadership, as modelled by Jesus, is the most powerful way to lead. Helping those around you to do better, selflessness, compassion and generosity of spirit makes the whole group thrive.
We wish all students well on their 2018 journey.