To prepare for my profile I took some time to reflect on my eight years at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College. Throughout this time I have tried to ensure that each student feels safe, valued, and respected through positive relationships with them. Being a reflective practitioner means that I am aware that not every student has felt this way. As a House Coordinator I have a responsibility to celebrate our students’ many successes, but also challenge them when their choices do not align with our College values or expectations. When things do not go as planned, we often ask our students to reflect on their choices and consider other perspectives; to develop their empathy and social thinking.
To assist students to improve their ability to manage their emotions, to develop their resiliency, and to strengthen their school engagement, I use a variety of 5-10 minute activities in some of my classes. These activities include guided meditation and mindfulness activities, show and tell, the development of emotional literacy, and elements of Mental Health First Aid.
Further to this I developed a wellbeing program for Year 8 girls. The foundation of the program is the Rock and Water program, centered on three themes: ground your body, centre your power and focus your mind. Working with these themes teaches young women to connect with their body, inner feelings and strength, and from there connect with the environment. The ‘Rock’ aspect of the program enables young women to believe in their own strength and to increase their self-confidence, and the ‘Water’ aspect provides the skills needed to translate this new-found strength into communication with others. Many of the students who have participated are now emerging leaders within our College community.
To conclude, one of the simple ways I have tried to ensure students feel safe, valued, and respected is through encouraging their voice and actively listening when they communicate with me- whether through word or deed. To this end, I asked Clarissa, a Year 9 student, to contribute to my profile. This is what she had to say:
“Mr. Saul Travers-Hucker, is more than the man in blue and the booming voice telling students to, "Get out of the halls!" He is a teacher that values students’ personal growth, a teacher that will always help if asked and a teacher with a playlist full of heavy metal music. Being a student in Mr. Travers' English and Religion class, I have come to realize that he is not as scary as he may seem (though he is a tough marker). The strict House Coordinator that gives out detentions like it’s the cold is actually laidback and up for laughs. The loud voice ready to scold you at any time for not having a laptop bag is actually capable of giving out good advice; and the teacher with a love for heavy metal is secretly a fan of Disney songs. Though he may not seem it, Mr. Travers is honest, helpful and always has leftover ‘nice cards’ hanging around to use; a wonderful Lorenzo House Coordinator and teacher.”
Lorenzo House Coordinator – Christ the King