On Wednesday last week, an assembly was held to formally induct me into the role of Principal. At this assembly, I had an opportunity to share the following reflection on the importance of community, which to me, sums up one of the many strengths of our school.
A sense of belonging is a human need. I remember, when I was a boy that I belonged to a number of different communities. I belonged to a family, I belonged to a school, I belonged to a church and I belonged to various different after school clubs.
Each community had their own values, that helped guide, shape me to be the person that I am today.
When I started at Beechboro Christian School in 2017, I had a number of staff, parents and students who shared stories with me about the history of the school and how they have been impacted in a positive way; by being connected and feeling a sense of belonging. One word that was often used by these individuals when describing our school, was community.
Beechboro Christian School has always been well known for the positive culture and community that has been created by those who have been part of the narrative of the school, including students, their families, and of course staff.
It didn’t take long, for me to witness first-hand the positive culture and a strong sense of community that had been talked about by many.
I noticed that within the bigger community, being our school, there were many smaller, or sub-communities, including:
- Individual classrooms
- Individual Year levels
- Early Years, Lower Primary, Middle Primary and Upper Primary
- Individual families
- Extended families
- Friendship groups
- Cultural groups
- Choirs and the Drum Corp
- After School Clubs
- Before and After School Care
And the list goes on.
The interesting aspect of these sub-communities is that each is made up of individuals, with their own unique God-given gifts, talents, experience, interests and passions. Each of the smaller community’s shape and form the larger community, which is Beechboro Christian School.
It isn’t an individual who makes a community a community, it is a group of people that respectfully come together with a shared vision and united values that make a community.
I came across a lovely quote the other day:
Everyone’s life is like a jigsaw puzzle, and you hold some of the integral pieces that belong to countless such puzzles. You may not know how many pieces, or even how your pieces fit in their puzzles, but their puzzles won’t be complete without you. We are all connected despite our diversity, and you do make a big difference.
Deodatta. V. Shenai-Khatkhate
Earlier this year, the families who make up our community were sent a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, symbolising the fact that each person is an integral part of our picture, our story, our history, and our community.
During the period of home learning, the pieces of our puzzle, like each of our students, were in many locations; however, these pieces have now come back together to create a wonderful image.
Every person, who has a connection with Beechboro Christian School, whether they are a student, parent or staff member, past, present or future have, and will continue to, forge the positive culture and strong sense of belonging that Beechboro Christian School is known for.
My piece of the puzzle is in amongst the completed picture somewhere. It isn’t a prominent piece, nor is it any bigger than any other piece of the puzzle.
I am honoured and humbled to be one small piece of the puzzle that forms our community, and although I may hold the title of Principal, and I clearly understand the weight and responsibility of being in such a role, I am aware as Mr Murray Thomas, first Principal elect and longest-serving Principal of Beechboro Christian School, would say, relationally we are all equal; we are all God’s children.
I count it a privilege that I have been appointed the position of Principal at Beechboro Christian school and an even bigger honour to be part of this community at this time. I know that God has me at Beechboro Christian School for a reason and He also has a reason that each of you are part of our community; God’s plans are greater than our plans.
May I be known as a leader that places God first and foremost in the decisions that I make, for the benefit of our community, so that all glory and honour will be His and His alone.
Many of the staff are aware that I hold a particular Bible verse close to heart, which has become my prayer over each member of our community, but it is also something that I try to live up to each and every day. It comes from Micah 6:8:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.
I will finish with the quote that I shared earlier; however, I have used poetic license and changed it to fit the context of our community.
Beechboro Christian School is like a jigsaw puzzle, and you are the integral pieces that belong to our puzzle. You may not know how many pieces, or even how your pieces fit in this puzzle, but our puzzle wouldn’t be complete without you. We are all connected, by the Grace of God, built on the strong foundations of His love and mercy, and despite our diversity, individual beliefs and individual faults and frailties, you are loved by Him, and loved by us, and we are blessed to have you as part of our community.
Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend.