On Wednesday the School Satisfaction Survey was sent home to all parents. I ask all families to take time to complete the survey. The link to the survey is below for those that may have missed the Szapp notification. This survey closes the 14th June.
Our survey regarding suggestions for traffic improvements has received 49 submissions to date with some well thought out ideas. This survey closes next Friday should you wish to make a contribution to the discussion. The link for this survey is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YCMRQ8J.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the students that participated in the MTS Public Speaking Competition this year. This is a competition that all MTS children from years four to six participate in. Every child must speak in front of their classmates to determine which speakers represent their class in their year level finals. The top speakers from each year level then compete against the top speakers from other grades to determine a school winner.
The finals were held last Tuesday, and it was of a very high standard. It is gratifying to see the improvement across the school in public speaking skills since we commenced the competition five years ago. Thank you to Mrs Shelley who coordinates the competition each year.
A full report by Mr Hart appears later in the newsletter.
Thank you to all the parents that assisted teachers last Friday evening to prepare props for this year’s Wakakirri Competition. There are over 100 students from years five and six either performing or helping with this year's production. Rehearsals are well under way and thanks to staff, students and parents for giving their time to allow our students to participate.
Events like Wakakirri will stay in the memories of students for a long time. I recently spoke with my twenty-eight-year-old daughter who fondly remembers her participation in Wakakirri when she was a year six student at St Thomas the Apostle, Kambah.
One final mention for our competitors in the Matt Gitteau Cup last week. According to Mrs Blackwell, who managed the day, the enthusiasm, sportsmanship and support for one another was excellent. Again, it would not have been possible without parental assistance so thank you. A fuller report on the day is included later in the newsletter.
These are just some of the opportunities that enhance life at MTS and in the next few weeks we will host the Big Sing in which our choir will participate, and also the North Canberra/Gungahlin Chess Championships for our keen chess players.
Congratulations to Jack Lundy who was last week’s winner. This week’s problem is below.
Hats Off To You
Following the school’s sun protection policy students can stop wearing sun hats in June, and also do not need to wear them in July. Hats are worn again from August through to the following June.
How many days are you required to wear hats to school, working on a forty-one-week school year with no public holidays.
Systematic curriculum delivery
The school has a coherent, sequenced plan for curriculum delivery that ensures consistent teaching and learning expectations and a clear reference for monitoring learning across the year levels. The plan, within which evidence-based teaching practices are embedded, and to which assessment and reporting procedures are aligned, has been developed with reference to the Australian Curriculum or other approved curriculum and refined collaboratively to provide a shared vision for curriculum practice. This plan is shared with parents and families.
WHOLE SCHOOL FOCUS
The Whole school focus theme for this year is:
‘We Are Bee-Attitude Keepers”
Our value is: Honesty
At Mother Teresa we are going to show honesty towards those we meet in our class and on the playground by:
- Standing up for what is right
- Recognising right and wrong
- Follow rules
- Align words and actions
- Communicate with honesty
- Seek meaning
- Tell the truth
The Two Travellers
Two travellers prepared for a pilgrimage to a holy festival. One traveller prepared day and night in the weeks leading up to the trip collecting every tool or item that he thought he would need to arrive safely at the destination. The other traveller packed lightly and took with him only what was necessary.
Each traveller set out on the same day and at the same time. It was a long journey. They met along the road and travelled together on the way. The first traveller wondered how his companion possibly expected to arrive without the many tools and supplies he had packed with him.
Then they realized they were lost.
The first traveller stopped and looked at his many tools to help him find the way. This took a very long time to sort through his many possessions.
Meanwhile, the other traveller said a prayer and continued on the journey trusting that he would find his way. He moved quickly and before long, he found the right path again. The first traveller found his way, too, but he had to go backwards and pick another road to get there.
Though the two travellers were now far apart, they both felt the extreme heat of the next day. It was exhausting and slowed them down. The traveller with few possessions was only slowed a little bit and finally arrived at the festival. The other traveller, however, was overcome by the heat and exhaustion from carrying so many things. He had to take many breaks along the way.
By the time this traveller arrived with his many possessions still intact, the festival was over. People were leaving. He saw his former companion leaving, too, and realized what he had done. He placed his trust in his supplies rather than God.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
30 May 2021 - Year B
“Baptise them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Something to Think About
Who is God? What is God like? How would you describe God to someone?
God is Mystery and cannot be fully explained with language or symbol. Invite children to share their thoughts about what God is like? They may have some favourite images that help describe some quality or characteristic of God e.g. God is like a friend who listens to me; God is like a mother who cares for me; God is like a father who fixes things for me; God is like the ocean which is powerful.
We believe that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When you make the Sign of the Cross, what words do you say? You will hear these words in the gospel reading today. Jesus told his disciples to baptise people in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These are still the words used to baptise people today.
Peace and best wishes
Religious Education Coordinator
As a child therapist, the most common complaint I hear from parents is, “He just won’t talk to me.” Feeling estranged from your own child is painful, and it has implications for the child. Research indicates the most important predictor of a child’s emotional and psychological stability is the closeness of the parent/child relationship. Obviously, if the child is not opening up when they are upset, the relationship is not as close as it needs to be.
There are two habits that parents routinely engage in that shut down communication and drive a child away: negating feelings and mistaking sympathy for empathy.
Sympathy vs. empathy
When a child is truly in distress because they feel hurt, disappointed, worried, or angry, they desperately need their parent. Yet, often, parents don’t want to see their child feeling negatively, so their first instinct is to tell their child not to feel the way they do. Before they think, statements such as “don’t be disappointed” or “don’t be mad” escape. This results in the child feeling ashamed of how they feel, compounding the hurt. Moreover, the knowledge that their parent does not understand leaves them feeling alone, which is detrimental. Basically, the child learns that opening up about how they feel makes them feel worse.
Statements to avoid:
- Don’t worry.
- Don’t feel that way.
- Don’t be disappointed.
- Don’t be like that.
- Don’t be mad.
- You are too sensitive.
A better idea is to empathize. Honor their feelings. Feelings are never wrong; it’s what kids do with feelings that can get them in trouble.
Examples of empathy include:
- That’s a big worry. I get it.
- You are upset. I would be too.
- You have every right to feel disappointed. I felt like that when I was your age.
- You are mad. I understand. You have every right.
- It hurts to see someone do something you want to be able to do, but can’t yet.
- You are mad. I’m sure you have a good reason. I want to hear about it.
After you give them a solid dose of empathy, the child feels understood and connected to you, which means they immediately feel better and will want your help in problem-solving. In many cases, the empathy is all they need to feel better. Simply knowing their parent understands allows them to feel secure and forge ahead.
In addition, just because you empathize with how your child feels does not automatically mean you are condoning bad behavior. For example, my son came in the door angry last week. He slammed the door and threw his coat down. I said, “You are mad. I don’t know why, but you probably have a very good reason, and I want to hear about it, but you can’t throw your coat. Go pick it up.” After he picked up his jacket, he immediately came to me and told me he was upset about a conflict he got into with a friend.
Here’s how it works: Empathy creates good vagal tone in a child’s brain and immediately calms them. After receiving empathy, they settle down and can logically think through problems with you. They also feel understood and close to you which allows them to forge ahead with a sense of security.
No parent wants a child who feels sorry for themselves, plays the victim, or is overly dramatic, and maybe that is the fear that prevents a parent from being empathic. However, honoring their child’s feelings is actually what prevents a sense of entitlement or a victim mentality in a child. Sympathy, on the other hand, disrupts any chance of emotional attunement and tempts parents to enable. The parent saves and rescues their child from negative feelings instead of helping them work through difficult feelings.
For example, on the way home from hockey practice one night my eight-year-old son, Jimmy, said to me, “Mom, I was the worst one tonight. I’m the worst one every night. I barely got put in.”
Now, I have two choices, the sympathetic response or the empathic response.
1. The sympathetic response: “Poor guy, Im going to call your coach and talk to him. I don’t think it’s fair that he benches you for most of the practice.”
2. The empathic response: “That hurts, kiddo. It hurts to feel like you’re the worst one. I get it. I’ve felt like that a lot in my life. It stinks. Keep at it. It will get better.”
In essence, the sympathetic response tempts us to enable and ask that the rules be changed or concessions be made for our child, which teaches them to play the victim. Also, it requires no emotional investment on the parent’s part because the parent becomes the powerful saver and rescuer, which strokes the parent’s ego. It is the easy way out.
The empathic response requires the parent to shift from how they feel to how the child feels. It’s emotional attunement. It’s the parent remembering how it feels to be the worst one at something, so they can relate to their child. It’s selfless and it puts the child first, emotionally. When there is emotional attunement, the child feels understood and connected to you, which allows them to feel secure and more able to forge ahead and try again. Empathy creates a rugged work ethic and resilience in a child. The child will thrive on adversity instead of breaking down when negative things happen. Empathy creates brave and strong human beings.
Stay close to your child. Empathize and empower. The reward will be priceless.