A new year
The beginning of a school year can be daunting; for new boys changing schools is often a challenging experience. We try to lessen the anxiety by pairing our new boys with a ‘buddy’ so, all our new Grade 3 students have a Grade 7 buddy. All our new boys were welcomed in a special capping ceremony, where they were inducted into the Boys’ Prep.
For new staff, the question is often ‘will I be welcomed and accepted?’ This year 3 new members of staff were welcomed into Boys’ Prep. Some fantastic staff bonding and ‘getting-to-know-you’ took place as the entire BP staff went away to Camp Konka. We welcome Rev Dix Sibeko, Mr Rod Isaacs and Mr Damian Lynch and hope that their stay at BP is long and fruitful.
However, a new year provides an opportunity to start from scratch, to erase the mistakes of the past and embrace the future. At BP one of aims is to develop young men who are able to show resilience and determination, who will be able to face life’s realities and responsibilities. Vary often this is done via camps, outings and tours. Our Grade 7 boys went away to Camp Konka for a leadership identification camp and 116 boys from Grade 4 to Grade 7 travelled to Durban to participate in a sports tour.
Our responsibility as teachers and parents of boys is to ensure that we prepare, rather than protect. We need to let our boys fail and make mistakes, in an environment that is safe. We need to let them face the consequences of poor decision making, with an opportunity to try again. We need to praise effort and process, rather than results. In the words of Tim Elmore “We risk too little, we rescue too quickly and we rave too easily.”
My challenge to our staff is to be both supporting and demanding. Our boys believe in themselves when they have a teacher, coach, mentor or guide who believes in them first. In a school we are often given that opportunity to provide experiences that say to our boys “I believe in you and your ability to handle this situation.”