This week at staff briefing I talked about my optimism, my infamous tendency to be a “glass-half-full” kind of person and, as is my wont, I brought a couple of Winston Churchill quotes to bear on the matter:
“I am an optimist; it does not seem too much use being anything else.”
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity: an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
….but the truth is that people do let you down….
…when you go to an ISSAK primary cross-country championship you find that the host school have failed to mark the course properly and have nobody organised to marshal the finish line….
….when you go to the ISSAK basketball finals you find that, as usual, only 2 schools (KISU of course being one!) were capable of submitting the correct rosters and player IDs and so everything starts significantly late…..
…the inter-schools talent contest that evening, hosted by another competitor school, also starts 90 mins. late because of technical issues….
….and then there is our new bank, who have so far proven incapable of processing our staff payroll in time, despite being given all of the correct data and funds in plenty of time…
Now look at an event like the Year 3 and 4 production of “The Jungle Book” on Tuesday evening by way of contrast. Miss T, our Sports Director, had talked passionately at secondary assembly that morning about our commitment to excellence at KISU and here it was in spades! On entering the Auditorium, the scenery on stage, designed by our own Ms. Main, immediately set (pardon the pun!) the tone ….quite stunning! As the show got underway, we became aware that the musical accompaniment for the songs was not being provided by the customary CD but by our very own school band under the leadership of Mr Shirley….and they didn’t missed a beat throughout the whole show, testament to weeks of assiduous preparation. Finally, there were the performers themselves, who had obviously been brilliantly prepared by their class teachers, Miss Girerd and Miss McNamee.
What was noticeable to me was that, although the whole performance was slick and thoroughly rehearsed, there was still a sense of spontaneity and fun. And that willingness to take risks and really put yourself out there in a dramatic performance comes from self-confidence….but where does the self-confidence come from? It comes from parents and teachers who believe in their young people, who tell them they are great and that they can do it; it comes from youngsters being in a community where people want them to succeed and when they do, take real pride in the achievement and celebrate with them. In this kind of context young people will be prepared to take risks and give things a real go and when they do, they either learn from mistakes or derive confidence from success, either of which will make them more willing to take the next risk.
This is the KISU way….the things we can control within our school community we do with passion and to the best of our ability, supporting and encouraging each other and, if at all possible, having a good time doing it!
You know, in any community of our size there are always going to be one or two nay-sayers; it’s natural. But I really cannot get my head around their motivation. Rene Descartes once said:
“An optimist may see a light where there is none but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?”
…. the aforementioned ISSAK primary cross-country? ….Won by KISU!
….the ISSAK basketball finals? …….3 were won by KISU and we were runners-up in the 4th
….the Inter-schools Talent Contest?...... Half of the awards won by KISU!
….throw in the U11 Girls’ Football Championship and the secondary ISSAK Athletics Championship and I think we can say it has been a pretty good week!
….I told you we were catching fire!