Principal's Blog - 22 November 2018

20 Nov 2018

Dear members of the Marcellin College family,

Over the past few weeks I have had the wonderful opportunity to speak with a number of our staff as part of our Colleges' Annual Review Meeting process. The ARM provides an opportunity for staff to stop, reflect and celebrate the many achievements of their year at Marcellin. It also provides recommendations to staff as to how they can continue to grow as Catholic, Marist Educators for the benefit of the students of our school.

The ARM documents which our staff complete reminds me of the incredible breadth of their work, their constant search for improvement in what they do and they way they operate on a daily basis above and beyond their role descriptions. Allow me to provide a brief snapshot of just some of the activities and opportunities our staff are involved in which not only enhances their professional growth but equally importantly, supports and enhances the experience of the students at our school.

Formal and Informal Professional Learning
The staff of Marcellin are committed to the concept of Life-Long Learning. Many of our staff are engaged in formal Post Graduate study in areas such as School Leadership, Student Wellbeing, Business Administration, Theology, Religious Education, Maths Education, Literacy Development as well as study in most subject areas. All staff are constantly engaged in professional reading in order to keep up to date on the latest developments in the education space. Most staff are members of the various subject association and all continue engage in professional conversations on a daily basis in support of each other.

At Marcellin we are committed to providing a variety of internal programs to assist the professional growth of our staff. All teaching and educational support staff participate in a Day 3 (every second Wednesday) Professional Learning Program. This program is built into the normal school day timetable and affirms the uniqueness of the individual and also provides the opportunity for staff to build towards their full potential and enhance their understanding of contemporary pedagogical and assessment practices. The College also implemented the space and time (over 20 hours) for all teaching staff to utilise throughout the year for their Professional Practice Time. Additionally, the implementation of a comprehensive Staff Induction and Mentoring program, staff faith formation days, time release for department teams to collaborate and a process for staff-nominated professional development (off campus) during the school day.

Over the past four years the College has seen the successful roll out of an Emerging Leaders Program, (Middle) Leaders in Learning Program and a Senior Leaders Program in partnership with local and international leadership program organisations. A key feature of these programs has been the opportunity for staff to engage in a professional learning plan, supported by a coach.

Throughout 2017 the College provided time release for a team of staff to achieve their peer coaching certification. Then in 2018 Marcellin implemented a College wide Peer Coaching Program, involving eighteen peer coaches given a time allowance to enable them to support their colleagues. It is our belief that a peer coaching model of staff professional development opens time for learning as an ongoing process of inquiry and as a reflective journey, rather than treating it only as a requirement, destination or goal in itself.

The Catholic Marist identity of our College speaks of a desire to support the inherent dignity of each person, encouraging him/her to fully utilise his/her God given gifts and talents to the full. Consequently we continue to seek to empower and build capacity in staff and students for taking on roles and responsibilities and to develop them as educators in Catholic Marist context.

I am very grateful to the many people who have supported the development of these programs, most particularly our Deputy Principal, Adriano Di Prato and other members other College Leadership Team. I am grateful also to the many staff who have given of their time and commitment to these programs. Without their dedication and passion for continuous learning these programs would not be the success they are.

There are many other areas of College life our staff consistently, and beyond that which would be reasonably be expected, involve themselves in. Whether it be in the arts, sport or being there to support student learning on weekends, in the term breaks or after hours, our staff give of themselves so freely and generously to the young men in their care.

I remain in awe of their passion for what they do every day and for the great Marist quality of Love of Work they demonstrate in their daily actions and interactions at Marcellin.

Mark Murphy