Issue 52, 28 October 2020

Head of College Update

Dear Colleagues,  

Thank you to all staff for the exciting programs over the past two weeks. A lot of fun was had during Bookweek, and the photos tell a story of the great camaraderie that exists within our staff community. Congratulations also to Melissa Giles and staff at Concordia Lutheran College Hume Street Kindy for being named the State Winner of the ‘Little Scientists Australia Early STEM Award for 2020’. Congratulations one and all for the most outstanding achievement.

At this point in time it is wonderful to see our Enrolments Department being rushed off their feet. Numbers in every year level are growing and boarding enrolments are improving after unexpected enrolments from rural Queensland. With full Prep classes and a bulging Year 7, 2021 is shaping to be a monumental 75th Anniversary year for our College. Thank you to all who support the enrolment process – you make a difference.

Staffing update

In Heads Up (16th September) I reported to you about staff members who were known (at that time) to be leaving us, either permanently or on approved leave, at the end of the 2020 school year. I am pleased to let you know that Mr Sean McInerney (Specialist Math and Physics), Mrs Natalie Houston (Christian Studies, Senior English, HASS) and Ms Rachel Scott (Christian Studies, English, HASS) have all accepted appointments to join us in 2021. There will be further staff movements in the coming weeks, and I will let all staff know of other changes via Heads Up. 

In line with the Concordia Lutheran College Strategic Plan, we will be widening the general coordination roles to bring focus onto some of the key pastoral care and educational points within the Plan. In 2021, three new roles have been created:

  • Year Level and Pastoral Coordinator (Years 6 to 8)
  • Year Level and Pastoral Coordinator (Years 9 and 10)
  • Year Level and Pastoral Coordinator (Years 11 and 12)

The team will work closely with staff to review the Pastoral Program at Stephen Street Campus, support the transition of students into Year 7, explore the introduction of an alternate Year 9 program and investigate the embedding of mental health initiatives and Service Learning into the Pastoral Program. These roles will replace the current positions of Middle College Coordinator and Senior College Coordinator and I would publicly like to thank Roz Cook and Carissa Jaworska for the great work that they have done over the past years. Their support and work has helped the College and its students navigate through the challenges of this year and indeed years gone by. Thank you.

Expressions of interest are now open for the new roles by emailing Mel Foreman (melanie.foreman@concordia.qld.edu.au)  and the position description can be viewed here. Expressions close at 4:00pm on Monday 2 November 2020.

Kindest regards and many blessings,

Adrian

Need to know!

Have you misplaced your name badge or is it looking a bit tired and worn out? Please email Mel as a priority so a replacement can be ordered ready for 2021. 

Important Dates

Date Event / Activity Attendance
Wednesday, 2 December Staff Worship & Luncheon
Wednesday, 23 December College office closes for Christmas break at 4.00pm
Monday, 4 January College office re-opens including Uniform Shop
Monday, 18 January First Aid Training (including CPR) Invited staff*
Tuesday, 19 January CPR Training Invited staff*
Wednesday 20 – Friday 22 January Staff Professional Development Days
Monday, 25 January Teaching and teaching support staff preparation day (at school or off-campus)^
Tuesday, 26 January AUSTRALIA DAY PUBLIC HOLIDAY
Wednesday, 27 January Pupil Free and Boarder Travel Day


*Invitations for First Aid and CPR training will be sent out shortly. If you currently don't hold this qualification and would like to be considered for the course, please contact Mel ASAP.

^Monday 25 January is an additional preparation day for teaching and teaching support staff in 2021. It is a normal day of work for all other support staff and all Receptions will be open. 

2021 College Term Dates

SSC Shared Learning Narrative

Yesterday afternoon, the Reflect 2 Pivot (R2P) Online Workshop was held. Thank you to our parents, students and staff for the time they invested to reflect, share ideas and continue shaping our vision for learning at Concordia. It was wonderful to welcome nearly 30 participants across the workshop. We used a Design Thinking approach to help clarify key areas, for focus and development, to benefit our learners and help them to grow and improve their learning outcomes each day.

The voices of students, parents and staff are valued and important as we create our future directions in partnership.

Additional information from the workshop will be shared in the near future for your perusal. Stay tuned for more opportunities to be involved. Exciting times ahead at Concordia! 

Learning is at the heart of everything we do.

Darren Pope, Learning Enrichment Coordinator

Media Literacy


You don’t have to go far in the internet/social media landscape to encounter spin, misinformation or just plain crazy conspiracy theories. It is Media Literacy week and a great opportunity to start a conversation with your students (and family) about how to critically engage with social media. According to Michelle Lipkin from the National Association for Media Literacy, a good way to start is to actually read an article or watch a video in full and pause before we share.

For more great tips and information check out the ABC Media literacy website. It also has links to the Australian curriculum.

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Bookweek has been celebrated across all campuses and our Junior College staff certainly embraced the event, particularly given parents weren't able to be in attendance this year for the traditional Bookweek parade.  

If you wish to expand your own library, the Children’s Book Council of Australia 2020 winners can be accessed here

Heidi Edwards, Teacher Librarian 

Development Opportunities

A reminder that the QCAA is offering more than 60 webinars on topics across K–10 during October and November. These will support teachers and school leaders to enhance learning outcomes for all students. Visit the QCAA website for more information and to secure your place. 

Escape for a moment...

Here is a short recap from the events of last week and clarity on where you can (and can’t) travel in Australia...

Technology

TASS is rolling out enhancements faster than we can read the release notes currently. A wanted enhancement for some time has come to fruition – the visibility of siblings in student records, which also includes past students of the College. You will find this against student records in Teacher Kiosk in the ‘General Details’ section. 

World Teacher's Day and School Officer's Day

As we celebrate World Teacher's day and a belated School Officer’s day this Friday, it is important to recognise that all staff who work in schools care about what we do and strive to meet the needs of students, parents, and colleagues. We can sometimes lose focus in the busyness of our work, and support of students, to be compassionate towards others and particularly, ourselves.

Daniela Falecki reminds us that we are not a human-DOING but a human-BEING. We must allow time to BE, to RECOVER, to REST and RENEW.


In order to practice self-compassion, we must look out for and catch some common thinking traps. These traps, if unchecked, can become habits that build stress and prevent us from doing what we are here for – to provide an outstanding education for each individual child. 

The enemies of self-compassion

Perfectionism When is the last time you taught a ‘perfect’ lesson? In 20 years I don’t think I ever have. I have taught good lessons and had great outcomes, but what constitutes a perfect lesson anyway? By seeking perfectionism, we are left asking “is this right?” This question only breeds a feeling of failure when our own expectations or vision of perfectionism is not met. Instead, we could be asking “Is this working well?” “What impact might I be having at this time?” Let this be your judge as a way to limit the drive for perfectionism. Let our goal be improvement, not perfection.  

TED Talk - Our dangerous obsession with perfectionism is getting worse | Thomas Curran (14min)

Shame Shame is the personal name calling we do to ourselves with things like “I’m hopeless at that”, “I’m too dumb to learn that new system”. Shaming ourselves makes us our own bully and this simply doesn’t support us in being our best self. We wouldn’t stand for bullying in our classroom so why would it be ok in our own heads? Instead, we need to be kinder to ourselves by being our own best friend. Speak softly and gently to yourself just like you would a friend in need. Your thoughts need to be your ally not your enemy. 

TED Talk - Listening to shame | Brené Brown (20min)

Competition and Comparison In a world where we encourage individual differences and inclusion, the reality of education is that we test everyone the same and make sweeping generalisations based on comparisons. We do this of ourselves as teachers too. We compare the results of one class to another class and make assumptions about our teaching practice based on these results. We might look at other teachers and think they are better than us, or wonder how they find the time to do all that they do. Instead of comparing what you don’t do or don’t have, what about using a lens of strengths to compare what you do have? We all have unique strengths that we use in different ways. Whether that be a strength of excellence, leadership or humour, they all have value. What are your strengths? 

TED Talk - To overcome challenges, stop comparing yourself to others| Dean Furness (12min)

Adapted from an article by Daniela Falckei

Support for you

Like most services, AccessEAP has extended their support beyond face to face, to video, phone or instant messaging. A reminder that the support for you includes:  

To book, go to their online Booking Portal or call 1800 818 728.

Events

An invitation is extended to all Stephen Street Campus staff, and partners, to attend the SSC Staff Association end of year celebration event.

Where: Meringandan Pub (Or as Mr Smith puts it The Mighty Meringandan Pub) on the back deck.

When: Saturday, 7 November

Time: From 4.30 pm - meal to be ordered at 5.30 pm as there is a second seating at 7 pm so we need to vacate by then (as per Covid restrictions).

Cost: Staff Association members will be given a voucher towards the evening. Partners and non staff association members are welcome.

RSVP: Please email Christine Briskey by FRIDAY.  

Who am I? 

I firmly believe…in the value of a daily walk

Love…having breakfast with my girlfriends

My favourite family tradition is…homemade pizza and dessert on a Friday night

At sports carnivals…I always identify with the kid struggling at the end of the race

Feel blessed…to have married my soul mate almost 25 years ago

Am surprised…by how much I enjoy living with 3 teenagers

Feel happy…when I have a big stack of books waiting to be read on my bedside table

Employee Benefits

Further information on the new Lutheran Employee Offer from AIA Health Insurance, including e-gift cards for new policies - New Member Offer

If you would like to arrange a free no-obligation phone consultation and quote please click on this link:  https://www.gobookings.com/au/clients/04111809814961  

Please note that for each Lutheran employee who does join AIA Health Insurance, LCA will donate $50 to ALWS Gifts of Grace on your behalf.

Concordia in the News


Feature Article in The Chronicle, 19 October 2020

Education in the News

Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) 2020 State Election Hub

  • The hub includes party policies and announcements
  • Importantly, the next Government is serving for the first time, a four-year term

In the Community

A heart warming news clip starring one of our own College community members - Sonya Herndon. 


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The SSC Ag Practices staff and students have welcomed some chickens which are already laying! If anyone has spare egg cartons they are willing to donate they can be dropped at CSI or placed in my pigeon hole. 

And, if your staffroom would be willing to host and utilize a food scrap bin in your kitchenette please email myself or Mandy by the end of the week.  

These would be sealed containers with labelling for what is and is not able to be placed in them, and the responsibility for the collection, cleaning and return of these will lie with the Ag students - great for our chickens and helping to reduce waste going into landfill.

Jess Kropp, Teacher

‘Whatever’ Days

Today, 28 October, is recognised as the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles. Rev. Seth Mierow has asked that we don’t confuse Simon with the Apostle Simon Peter. Today we remember Simon the Zealot; which means that he was among that Jewish movement which was zealous for keeping the Torah of Moses. You can bet he was determined, committed, even fanatical about what he believed.

At the same time we also give thanks and praise to God for the apostle Jude. This is a shortened form of the name, “Judas.” But don’t confuse him with Judas Iscariot. Today we remember Jude, a relative of Jesus and the author of that short epistle in the New Testament. But the Church has also referred to St Jude as Thaddeus, which means, “courageous heart.” What a perfect pair. Simon the Zealot and Jude the Courageous Heart.

The bones of Saint Jude and Simon the Zealot are in a tomb at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. 


The Bunya Pine

Recommendations:

If you are planning a ‘tropical’ vibe this Christmas or just wish to surprise others with a form of culinary art, check out this short video contributed by Leah Parker on a not so traditional way to open a pineapple. 


Toowoomba Regional Council, The Home Project: Wearable Circuit - great for Halloween costumes.



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