Kia ora e te whanau,
Welcome back to school at Level 2! It was so great to see the students and staff back yesterday and while not all teenagers will admit it, I think they were pretty happy to be back too. Thank you to all of you parents and caregivers who have been the “home school teachers” over the last three weeks. Parents are the unsung heroes of lockdown. Navigating the varying challenges of each Alert Level has at times been difficult for New Zealanders, and we can all be proud to have successfully navigated these challenges in our community.
Like last time, I am very mindful of the extra time our students and staff have been glued to their computers and how unhealthy this can be. While we are lucky to live in the 21st century and have the technological advances that enable us to connect via distance to learn from anywhere, this is not without its dangers. Recently a parent shared with me a Radio NZ article that spoke of a new study that links digital devices to poorer achievement. International data is showing us that an over reliance and use of computers to learn in the classroom is leading teenagers to do worse in reading, maths, and science. Now that we are back in school it is important that we find the right balance, use technology well and appropriately. This means not using computers for gaming and time filling activities like scrolling through social media.
St Peter’s College teachers have met countless expectations over lockdown by going above and beyond, many with their own children they were also trying to “home school” while teaching yours. They did this with aligned purpose and passion, exceeding the daily expectations of teachers. They have made me very proud, and I am lucky to work with such committed people every day for your child. Please know that while I hold high expectations for our teachers, they hold even higher expectations for themselves. This often leads to late nights and weekends away from their families.
We give you praise, O God, for everything that is new and beautiful, for everything which holds promise and brings us joy.
Bless us as we return to school to be with our friends and teachers. Help us to make the most of every chance we have to start afresh.
May we show love to one another and to all. May the new beginning of this week remind us that you give us chances to start over again and again.
Help us to forgive others as we receive your forgiveness. Help us to learn and to work together.
Help us to listen when we should and to know the best words when we speak and when it is better not to speak.
We thank you for our friends: Help us to be good friends this year.
Help us to be patient with ourselves and with others.
Bless our school and keep us safe. Be with us as we travel each day.
Help us to be aware of your love shown to us in the people around us. Bless all those who care for us in school and at home. Help us show our care for them and to say sorry when we need to.
May the Blessed Mother Mary protect us
“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9