Newsletter #10 29/10/2020

Principal’s Report
In this edition of the Newsletter, I would like to take the opportunity to celebrate the teaching profession. Teachers serve a vital role in our society; they act as mentors, experts and role models for future generations.

This year has been such a unique year for us all. We have all made sacrifices in our lives and had to make changes and adjustments that we honestly could never have foreseen. It has provided us all with challenges, both personally and professionally. Working within an environment of restrictions to the lives of students, their families and to the personal and professional lives of our own teachers has probably provided us with one of our bigger challenges.

I recently read an article on the website of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) which, in summary, reflected on how the public and teachers themselves view the profession, and ways to continue attracting and retaining quality teachers. Clearly, teachers contribute to the wellbeing and success of future generations. Research has shown that the value society places on teaching is linked to the attractiveness of teaching as a career, teachers’ sense of worth in the profession and their ability to impact student academic achievement. The way teachers are perceived in society (including teachers’ self-perception) can impact the entire lifecycle of teaching including the recruitment of new teachers, and the retention, job satisfaction and performance of all teachers.

“The significance of the teaching profession is reflected in the demands of the job – specialised expertise, strong interpersonal skills, adaptability and a learning mindset. It would therefore follow that teachers are valued by society, and current evidence supports the notion that they are.” (Heffernan et al., 2019; Leahy & Selwyn, 2019; Roy Morgan, 2017)

The key messages in the article reveal that:
teachers are more valued by the community than they think
the way teachers are perceived in society can impact the entire career lifecycle; from recruitment, retention, job satisfaction and performance
there is a positive correlation between how teachers are perceived and student achievement
negatively skewed portrayals of teaching in the media do not appear to match community sentiments
recognition of teaching expertise can contribute to improving the status of teaching – consequently attracting high-quality candidates to the profession and retaining a strong workforce.

Celebrating Our Teachers
Tomorrow, World Teachers Day, is a time to celebrate the extraordinary work of our teachers. This year provides extra reasons to recognise their role, as schools and the broader community emerge from extraordinary COVID-19 restrictions. Teachers have played a crucial role, with recent research that confirms overwhelming community support for teachers – support that has been reinforced during the pandemic. An increased community awareness of the invaluable work of teachers might be one of the positive lessons from this year’s crisis.

It is important to note that when we acknowledge our teachers, we understand that we are doing so in the context of them, not just as teachers among so many colleagues in schools that are skilled educators, but additionally, as educators of Consciousness-based Education. This is where we celebrate our “point of difference” as a school and also for the value that the “Ideal Principles of Teaching” brings to the development of your children. In the words of Maharishi…………..…….

“Unless knowledge is leaned with reference to the universe and to oneself, it will leave the mind in doubt. ’What is the connection of this to everything else? And to me?’ Unless this is made clear, the thirst for knowledge will never be satisfied”

We are grateful to Maharishi School parents and students for the high regard in which you hold our teachers and the manner in which many of you communicate this with them. Everyone appreciates receiving acknowledgement for the work they do and teachers are no different, so thank you sincerely for the appreciation you show them. On the next page, I’ve taken the liberty to publicly acknowledge and celebrate our own teachers at Maharishi School.

World Teachers’ Day
Australia will celebrate and thank the teaching profession on World Teachers’ Day – Friday 30th October.

Teachers (with support from parents and families) have ensured education continues across the country this year, despite major challenges. It has reinforced the significant role teachers play in the lives of their students, families and school communities. On Friday 30 October, let’s all say a big thank you to our teachers and celebrate the difference they make to the lives of our Maharishi School students. I try to make a point of regularly telling our teachers how much I appreciate and respect them. Your children are in very good hands!
Here’s my own effort at saying THANK YOU to them as we celebrate World Teachers’ Day:

A Principal’s Ode to the Exceptional Teachers of Maharishi School

You surround your students with inspiration
To learn and grow every day
Whether in or out of class
At school, home or play

The students always love your class
Your teaching helps them see
That to have a happy life
Learning and meditation is the key

You’re such a good person
Creative, caring and smart
I knew it as soon as I met you
I could tell from the very start

Happy 2020 World Teachers’ Day!

A Message From the Maharishi School Board
On the behalf of the School Board I’d like to express our deep gratitude to our Principal, our teachers and  administrators, and our whole school community for successfully navigating the School through the challenges of the recent lockdowns. The whole situation has been brilliantly managed, and staff, parents and students need to be applauded for their ongoing commitment to the Maharishi School. 

Through the development of higher consciousness we can avert potential disaster and turn into an opportunity for growth. I think you have all beautifully demonstrated that. 

We enjoyed the Book Week costumes, particularly the image of our Willy Wonka Principal and his golden tickets! It’s great that the whole school community can again have fun together like this. 

After careful assessment of the School’s situation, the Board is pleased to inform you that there will be no increase in School Fees next year and we hope this will provide some relief to those families who maybe struggling at present.

We feel very positive about the current direction of the school and the way it is fulfilling its mission to awaken the total potential for health, happiness and success in life. This is a credit to everyone of you.

Kind regards
Dr Tim Carr MBBS
Chair, Maharishi School

School Photos 2020 – Maharishi School
Our annual school photos, including sibling photos, will be taken at Maharishi School by Arthur Reed Photos on Tuesday 17th November 2020. The details for this year are as follows:
There is no need to return any forms or money to school before then.
Unique codes will be issued to all students on/after photo day so you can register online to view your child’s images. To register, follow the simple instructions on your child’s individualised flyer once you receive it.
When images are completed and in the webshop, all parents who have registered will be notified by SMS and email so they can then view and order photos.
To ensure you are purchasing school photos for the current year, please wait for notifications that 2020 images are ready to view before placing orders.

All students should be in their Summer Uniform, including white socks (shin height) and black school shoes. Photos will be taken with the white polo top as the outer garment. There should not be any coloured clothing under the polo top that is visible. Hair should be neat with school-coloured ribbons/clips only. Leggings or tights are not part of the Summer Uniform and should not be worn. A flyer with further details is attached to the email with this Newsletter.

SRC Report
At last week’s first SRC Meeting, we discussed with the Term 4 Class Captains what the SRC do at the school. We explained the responsibilities they will have to represent their classmates by bringing to our SRC Meeting the ideas their class has for adding value to the school. It is such an enjoyable time for me to have lunch with these students and listening to their ideas, delivered with such pride and confidence (increasing weekly!!).
The Captains followed up this week at our second meeting by sharing their classmates’ ideas and resolved the following:
Mara Jean will do an audit of the sandpit equipment then she, Raph and Nicholas will sit with me to help choose and buy new equipment from one of the online stores.
The students would like a running track marked on our grassed area for the beginning of next year.
The Emeralds will organise the Annual Downball Competition.
The Sports Shed will be reorganised and audited with new sports equipment to replace old.

Maharishi School Portal
We continue to develop our Maharishi School Portal which has been such a valuable communication platform that we initially created for Remote Learning but it has and will have so many more uses.

A new addition to the Portal is the ‘School News’ section where we will post information, photos and videos of school-wide activities and events. It will also be the new home of our School Newsletter. Currently we post these school-wide items in each class folder so in the next couple of weeks we will move these to the ‘School News’ section.

Key Dates
Fri 30th Oct World Teachers’ Day
Mon 2nd Nov Staff Planning and Report Writing Day (School Closed: Student-Free Day)
Tues 3rd Nov Melbourne Cup Public Holiday (School Closed: Student-Free Day)
Tues 17th Nov School Photo Day