Shepparton News

College community emerges stronger

- — Barbara O’Brien, Greater Shepparton Secondary College executive principal

There is a lot of serious messaging going out to our students in recent weeks which is why we’re also asking them to wear a funny hat, bring their pet to class or join an evening trivia quiz.

We’ve seen some great Where’s Wally photos created by students and Wear It Purple Day saw the most amazing outfits shared online to celebrate inclusion. Dogs and cats often feature in these events and are clearly having the time of their lives in remote learning.

These may be unusual school day activities, but they impress me every day.

When we were suddenly back into remote learning after August 20, Greater Shepparton Secondary College staff knew exactly what to do. We’ve become very skilled at managing online lessons and we have an entire government department backing us in delivering curriculum as best we can for our students.

As profession­al as this is, we know this is tough on a personal level.

School is one of the most social experience­s we will ever have in our lives. For those of us who sign up to stay in school (i.e. teachers), we crave the daily contact with students and our great privilege to develop their skills, talents and get to know them as individual­s.

Which is why we are reaching out to students in some odd and innovative ways which are sometimes aimed at simply having

a laugh and enjoying the moment. We’re also ensuring we reach out to each and every student regularly, to ensure they are travelling well.

Every major enterprise in Shepparton is working to support staff morale at this time, and our employees are also checking in

with each other. GSSC is a new and large organisati­on in our region and our employees are developing a wonderful, unified culture. Like our students, teachers engage in fun events like Spicks and Specks challenges as well as exchanging food, flowers and e-cards and generally ensuring we support each other as a team.

As executive principal, it’s been wonderful to see our college so united and it will serve us well in 2022 when we are working together at our brand-new campus.

In the meantime, our teachers remain dedicated to delivering the best and most engaging lessons we can for the remainder of Term 3 and remote learning.

I welcome the chance to publicly acknowledg­e their hard work. I also wish to note the wider role GSSC has been able to play as we deal with this latest pandemic challenge. Our wellbeing, multicultu­ral and Koori support staff have worked tirelessly in supporting families during this time. Indeed, we have staff contributi­ng time and skills to helping our community in many ways — outside of their day jobs.

A final message for GSSC’s most important people — our students. We may not invite you to wear a funny mask when we return to campus learning, but for now you will find your teacher forgiving — and enjoying a good laugh!

 ??  ?? Having fun: Wearing purple was one of many activities to keep staff and students seeing the brighter side of life, even in mandatory quarantine.
Having fun: Wearing purple was one of many activities to keep staff and students seeing the brighter side of life, even in mandatory quarantine.

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