Heathdale flower 13th May 2022

Being a Heathdale Mum & a Principal

Being a Principal doesn't make being a school mum any easier.

Heathdale flower

It has been asked of me in this newsletter to tell you about my journey at Heathdale. I have decided to do this through the eyes of a parent - many of you may know I have two boys at the school who are now in Years 8 and 9.

I have not always worked at Heathdale. I started working for Heathdale in January of 2018 and spent four years as the Principal of our Melton campus. It was a big conversation in my house whether I should apply for this job at the Werribee campus as it would mean I am on the same campus as my children. Would this be okay with them? I am happy to say they gave me their blessing but they strangely don't seem to recognise me at school!

When the boys were in Kinder, Heathdale was a whole new word to me. I didn't go to a Christian school as a child - I grew up in a poorer suburb in England and hence Heathdale seemed quite alien. The people were lovely and welcoming and I willingly attended excursions and did everything I could to make sure the boys were comfortable and happy. We spent many happy hours creating happy hats, silly socks and making Christmas presents for teachers. As we have travelled through Heathdale I have been grateful for the education plus the extra opportunities we have experienced with volleyball, interschool sports, music lessons, school musicals, leadership, and differentiated learning.

I honestly couldn't be happier with the experience provided - is it perfect? No, but do I trust the teachers will give the boys the best opportunities and keep developing their characters through Jesus – yes, I do. Do I have some difficult times and conversations? Yes - but I work things through with their teachers who always listen, especially when I explain what is happening. Sometimes I have to change some things I am doing at home to help, and sometimes the teachers adjust their programs to enhance the boys’ learning. I am mindful that teachers are busy and have many students in the classroom so I try to either book appointments if needed or email. I also try to keep up with their learning and see how I can help, though I have to admit some of their subjects are getting harder!

As a parent, the worry doesn't end at the end of any year. Even when you are a teacher or Principal the same worries come each year. Will my child have friends? Will they cope with the learning? What if something goes wrong? Being in the school sometimes it is even more tempting to try and sort out any issues for them because you see them in the flesh! It has been an important lesson for me to let go and try to get my children to have their own voice in their learning.

Sometimes children don't always get it right, they come home and the story is from their perspective but it is not quite accurate or as it was. At times I have believed every word, but in having open relationships with their teachers I would be reassured that perhaps things aren't as they seemed and were a little different. There are always many factors to take into account in school life.

Through my journey I believe God has shown me the importance of parent partnerships with each teacher - this isn't the teachers telling me or me telling them what is best for my children but working things through together for the best outcomes. Sometimes there will be differences of opinion - and that is okay. I see the long-term journey in my children. We are always parenting for tomorrow. I see children who are learning to be sincere men of God and I don't think they would be who they are today if it wasn't for the values that Heathdale has instilled in them. Thank you to all the teachers who work for the glory of God in this space.

My journey goes before me and I desire that you as parents have parent-teacher partnerships that develop and bring out the best in your children. May I encourage you if something is on your mind be it encouragement or a concern please reach out to your teachers to develop your partnerships.