26 January 2016

The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept

Congratulations, David Morrison, AO, on becoming the 2016 Australian of the Year.

Source: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BMtxrz7CIAA_uUf.jpg
In June 2013 as Head of the Australian Defence Force, Morrison made an announcement to the Australian Army about the allegations of sexual harassment and unaceptable behaviour by Army members. He made no bones about his attitude to this behaviour and what he thinks, not just of those who perpetrate it, but of those who know about it and do nothing. He famously said 'The standard you walk past is the standard you accept'. He also said 'Every one of us is responsible for the culture and reputation of the ADF and I need every one of you to support me in achieving this.'

We could replace the acronym 'ADF' in his speech with 'Peregian Springs SS' and apply it to our own organisation. Over six years we have crafted high expectatons and standards in achievement, behaviour, attendance, uniform and effort. We expect and help everyone to work on maintaining these - from the smallest Prep to the newest family to the most experienced staff member.

Teachers (and other staff) ask kids to step up and try harder, to remove a non-uniform item, to treat their peers with more respect, to welcome newcomers to the school, to be on time, to be prepared for learning, to use common courtesies in all situations. Parents are asked to support us in this. These are tough conversations for staff to have, and they are not always received kindly.

So why don't we walk past poor behaviour, lateness, disrespect and coloured jumpers? It's because the research into what makes kids successful and happy at school is the adherence to high expectations and consistent boundaries. And our kids are testament to this - every day.

I can't wait to see them all again tomorrow for the start of another year of learning and smiling. Happy New School Year, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Gwen,

    I was just sitting down to write my P&C President's column for the newsletter and I was reflecting on the very same lines about standards that our newest Australian of the Year discussed and how those high standards applied equally well to our school community.

    I will, of course, change the emphasis of my intended column slightly, but it never ceases to amaze me how alike we think... nicely expressed!