It is great to be back at Thomas More College, this time as your Acting Principal for the remainder of 2019. For those who may not be aware, I spent Term 1 at Thomas More replacing Mandy Loveder as Deputy Principal. My permanent role is at St Mary's College where I have also worked in the Acting Principal's role as well as across R-12 in both co-educational and single-gendered environments in leadership and teaching roles across 20 years in Catholic Education. I am very excited about reengaging with the TMC Community this term and working with staff, you as families and students to help Thomas More College be the best it can be in 2019.As I write this, I have just returned from a 10-day journey to San Diego, USA. My time was spent in residency at the three different campuses of High Tech High, a system of schools established to meet the different changing nature of education in the 21st century in the context of the future of work for young people. High Tech High builds deeper learning experiences through developing competencies (in Australia we might call these Capabilities) to engage in real world issues through authentic content. It's like a focus on developing capable students by delving deeper into issues of importance, with the intention of fostering student responsibility in learning, rather than covering a lot of content at a surface level. This has allowed the students to not only master the content they have studied, but perhaps more importantly, develop their skills in critical thinking, effective communication and life-long learning.
Our education system and priorities in Australia are naturally different to those of the US; however, there is some merit in perhaps considering how some of the strengths of the High-Tech High approach may connect with our students. Across the three sites I met with students from Years 5-12, and what was common to all of their experiences was the ability to strongly articulate their status, challenges and progress in their own education journeys. Put simply, they owned their learning and knew where they wanted to go and what they needed to do to get there. I spent the last three days of my trip at the High School High Graduate School of Education's Institute on Assessment, where we further delved into the processes of valuing all elements of learning journeys as authentic assessment of and for students. Over the year I will unpack some of these experiences with our TMC staff to see if we can connect with elements that may be of importance to our continuing journey of the best educational experience for our students.There is so much to look forward to in being at Thomas More in 2019; our ongoing collaborative staff work on depthing successful students and learners, led by Damien Kelly and Rebecca Baker; the variety of educational experiences offered by our teachers from in-class and outside, hands on experiences across the different subjects and year levels; and most importantly, the work from and experiences of our students themselves. I really believe that this is a great time to be involved in the Thomas More Community and am thrilled be here during this time.
Please feel free to say hi if you see me in the mornings or afternoons near the front of the College.Take Care
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23 Amsterdam Crescent
Salisbury Downs SA 5108
(08) 8182 2600