December 2020

My reflections on the decade past

Deb Dalwood with students


With all its COVID-influenced changes to what we previously considered ‘normal’, I was thinking the other day that 2020 feels more like a decade than a year!

And that got me thinking a little deeper, delving into my memory bank to recall 10 reflections on the decade just past.

In no particular order, let’s start with character. Over the past 10 years, character and who you are as a person have become far more important than test scores. We now fully appreciate that keys to success lie in the likes of resilience, getting along, having a growth mindset and being confident.

We also celebrate mistakes. They are good, we learn from them and they build resilience to try…and try again.

Secondly, I have witnessed significant growth in wellbeing, social and emotional education. It manifests itself in our behaviour, where empathy is no longer in short supply. We feel for one another and the community in general. We also have the courage to take a stand and speak out when confronted by issues and developments we deem unsavoury, inappropriate or downright offensive.

Students, too, have a greater voice in their learning, sharing their goals with teachers, enjoying more control of their lives and generally feeling good about their futures, which brings us to the third reflection…

The rise in the use of data to inform teaching. It stands to reason that the more we know about a student, the better equipped we are to understand their journey – and that is when we can play the greatest possible role in making it a success.

Perhaps the fourth reflection is a result of this as today’s generation places far more importance on its endeavours to look after Mother Earth and ensure the sustainability of our fragile planet.

They are acutely aware of their impact in this regard, they exhibit a passion to protect and gently nurture our environment and they are determined to leave future generations with a better place to call home.

Moving on to number five, one of the great joys has been seeing students coming to realise why certain subjects are part of the curriculum. They understand the purpose of the lesson and experience more of those thrilling ‘aha’ moments when suddenly they get the WHY! They appreciate what it all means, they apply their minds to solve problems and reach solutions that will make our world just that bit better.

No reflection could exclude communication. Information is everywhere and channels of communicating and sharing it abound.

Deb Dalwood

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  • St Andrew’s School is a South Australian independent, co-educational specialist primary school providing excellence in education from playgroup through to early years and on to Year 7. Principal Jackie Becher – an International Baccalaureate School – UNESCO Associated School.