Last week I took one of my regular walks around the campus, visiting classrooms and interacting with the students on breaks. I saw some fantastic teaching, students totally absorbed by their lessons, and students happily playing and enjoying each other’s company during the lunch breaks. The atmosphere of enthusiasm and joy around the place was contagious and reminded me why I consider it an awesome privilege to be the Principal of Glasshouse Christian College. It also got me thinking about the topic for this week’s blog post so I thought I would share with you “Twelve reasons why I love being the Principal of GCC”.
1. I love the excitement of a new year, a new term, a new week and a new day.
It’s wonderful working somewhere where there is a shared enthusiasm and renewed energy to make an impact. Even in the middle of the term after battling the usual colds and sicknesses there are cheerful greetings between teachers and students and an attitude of gratitude for being part of such a wonderful school.
2. I love hearing teachers’ wildly amazing ideas and helping make them a reality.
We have some very creative and innovating teachers and thanks to their passion, GCC is making a national and international name for itself. Most of you know about the innovative learning of the DeLorean Project in Year 10 but we have staff members from Prep to Year 12 who amaze me with their creativity and fervour. At this year’s Christian Schools Australia Conference in July we have six staff members running teaching workshops and I would like to acknowledge Kimberly McLaren, Shalene Geldenhuys, Vanessa McKellar, Beryl Morris, Fiona Cran and Bobbie Briggs.
3. I love hugs, high fives and special interactions with students.
Sometimes it can be daunting in the playground when three or four tiny students rush up to hug me as I’m more comfortable with high fives but I love their excitement. I receive all sorts of lovely hand-made gifts and their thoughts and love are appreciated. Our effervescent Mrs Vicky Childs frequently brings Prep students to meet with me (although the timing often coincides with an Ararat win. Don’t think I don’t notice these things Vicky!)
4. Student wins and achievements are a real highlight of my job as Principal.
For instance, even though I really had nothing to do with our Agricultural Science students’ winning prizes at the Maleny Show or our volleyball teams becoming silver medallists at last weekend’s Queensland Schools Volleyball Championships, or two of our netball teams competing in Monday night’s grand final, I’m proud to be their Principal and delighted in their achievements.
5. Watching a veteran teacher still able to pour his or her heart into their students’ lives after years of teaching inspires me.
Being a teacher is hard work and it would be easy to become worn out and jaded over time. At GCC we have fantastic teachers who have been working for decades in their chosen profession and still pour their passion into the students in their classroom.
6. I love statistics.
In particular, I enjoy reviewing data and seeing in numbers how students have made significant academic gains thanks to their hard work and the excellence of our teachers.
7. I love watching students grow.
As I’ve now been Principal of GCC for more than ten years, I’ve been privileged to witness young Primary students grow into confident, caring adults who have graduated and followed their dreams. I often bump into alumni at church or the shops and it’s very special to hear their fond memories of GCC.
8. I delight in opportunities to join with student celebrations such as Book Week.
This event is even more enjoyable now that our Middle and Senior students unite in the fun. I never know who relishes dressing up more – the staff or the students! I haven’t sorted my costume for this year yet but am looking forward to Book Week.
9. I love our campus facilities.
Another source of pride for me as Principal are the new facilities we’ve been able to build for our students over the last ten years. Each new building has enhanced the learning experience of our students and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
10. I love the community feedback.
One of my favourite things about being Principal of GCC is when a community member goes out of their way to comment on the good behaviour of our students. This will often happen when the students are on an excursion or camp. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve received an email or phone message from someone who travelled on a plane with our Year 7 students going to Canberra and wanted to pass on their pleasure as seeing such well-behaved young people.
11. I love the privilege of leading a College that endeavours to be the example of a genuine Christian community.
At GCC we do not merely pay lip service to our GREAT values, they are part of who we are, part of our DNA and it comes out in all sorts of ways both expectedly and unexpectedly. It is in the quality of our relationships and our desire to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
12. I love being a Principal of a school where the parents are so committed to their children and volunteer to help make GCC a better place for them.
We have an awesome P and F and there are many other volunteers who help in classrooms, on sporting teams, at carnivals, events and activities. It is great to see the encouragement all our parents give to our students on our GCC Facebook page. For example, on our recent Prep to Year 2 Cross Country, there were 750 comments and reactions encouraging students or tagging other parents so they could see photos of their children in action.
The more things I list, the more other things come to mind like our great Board and our hard-working management team but I have to stop somewhere.
Thank you to everyone who contributes to why I love being Principal of Glasshouse Christian College.
Mike Curtis, Principal