Dr Jen George, Feb 2021

In 2021, I propose that schools have it good enough to share.  I confess, it is a brave person that writes on schools from a position other than as a teacher.  I sit on the fence of various school communities as a consultant to schools, a friend to many teachers, and a resident living next to a school.  As I look in, I see schools as communities of purpose, wonder and opportunity.   As I listen, I hear voices and the sounds of people gathering, learning and playing together.  There is a palpable sense of warmth and positive energy that emanates from these secure places.  Whilst wellbeing issues like anxiety and depression may be of growing concern in schools[1],  just as they are characteristic of our broader society[2], the joy found in school communities still looms large[3]. It is always appropriate to be thankful for the quality of our schools in Australia. And now, in light of the past year, we are thankful for our teachers as well.  In this article, I provide something new to consider, a flipped view if you like, an inside-out perspective. I am proposing a shift from schools focusing inwards to individual students, to schools reaching outwards towards collaboration with others. I want to highlight three things that place schools in a position of community strength and make them a good place to share from. 

[1] McCrindle Research (2020) Future of Education Report

[2] George J Education Future Forum (2020) Keynote Presentation cited from ABS Data (2014 and 2018).

[3] McCrindle Research (2020) Future of Education Report

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