Principal's Blog - 16 May 2019

13 May 2019

Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,

Take a moment to think about all the commitments and associated expectations you have in your life. Sorry to stress you with this request! It’s a bit overwhelming at times isn’t it? We seem to be increasingly being pulled in a so many directions, sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Some of these expectations are imposed on us and some of our own making. I find often that I need to take stock of all these commitments and expectations and complete an audit to determine which are the most important. For me it is obvious that my most important priorities are always to do with my role as a husband and father followed by my position as Principal of Marcellin. Sometimes though the line blurs a little between these two, just ask my patient, tolerant and supportive wife!

This week at Marcellin we have had several year level assemblies to support our young men in reflecting on the expectations that our College places on them. Having just completed their first term of the new year we felt that this opportunity would be a timely and supportive one. Our experience tells us that clarity around responsibilities and expectations for young men particularly, can provide them with comfort, certainty and a clear direction.

The expectations spoken about at each assembly ranged from the basic to the more challenging and demanding. At the end of the day it wasn’t so much the individual expectations which were most important, it was the attitude and commitment which is being expressed through attendance to these expectations. To my way of thinking, adherence to expectations, whether they be from school or at home or in a job, is an opportunity to demonstrate all the attributes of what it is to become a responsible, supportive, positive and productive member of a community.

It is interesting too that adherence to some of the simplest and most basic expectations are the most powerful in exemplifying that commitment. In a home setting, these may include attendance to household chores or being home on time for dinner. At Marcellin they have to do with expectations such as uniform, hair, attendance and punctuality, participation in co-curricular activities and competition of homework. Are these the most important expectations in our College? Certainly not. However, attendance to these basic requirements demonstrates a commitment to and relationship with the College which is founded on mutual respect and cooperation.

It should come as no surprise that the most successful students at Marcellin, that is the students who have reached their full potential in our College, are ones who have got the little things right. That is not to say that they are perfect, that is not our aim. What they have clearly demonstrated is that they are prepared to walk with us and each other, understanding all the wonderful benefits our College offers. These are the important life lessons which will most significantly and valuably assist them as the make their way into the world as mature, independent men.

At Marcellin we are blessed to have boys and families who understand the importance of partnership. In fact in the first paragraph of our College vision statement it says…

Marcellin College is a Catholic Marist boys’ school that is the centre of a community of learning, life and faith. In partnership with families, we nurture our students as they grow from boys to fine young men.

Each of us has an important role to play in supporting the young men of Marcellin to take ownership of the way they respond to the various expectations of life at the College. In doing so we are helping them to learn valuable lessons about what it means to fully commit to a community which we know will support them as they enter the world beyond the gates of our College. Lessons about self-discipline, integrity, self-reliance, resilience, respect and cooperation. Aren’t these the most important lessons of all?

Mark Murphy