Over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on our 2022 school year as I have been preparing articles for the different events and publications that occur in Term 4. This has included Voices (our college magazine), MSM Celebrates, Aspire (a newsletter for enrolled families who are yet to commence at the College), Fide et Amore (our Alumni newsletter) and MSM Alive (our community newsletter).
One of the common themes has been my expression of gratitude to the different sectors of our community who contribute in so many ways to make up our wonderful family that we call MSM. Gratitude is one of our key components of our Positive Education program and having a “positive attitude and a heart of gratitude” has been the mantra of MSM.
I was recently reading a blog by Dr Kathline Colvin on the “Three Stages of Gratitude”. The first stage is “feeling grateful for the good things in your life”. This is a practice that we regularly encourage our students to devote time to, for example, regularly writing in a gratitude journal and we dedicate time in our Positive Education program to do this. I believe that identifying what we need to feel grateful for in our lives, has been vital to surviving the COVID-19 pandemic. It is easy to lament the things that we feel that we have missed out on, but we should also value our learnings as we rediscovered what is truly important in our lives…our relationships (family, friends, colleagues, teachers etc).
This brings me to the second stage which is “expressing your gratitude to the people who have made your life better”. Our students are encouraged to do this in various ways through our Retreat programs. Students demonstrate great courage when they give voice to their gratitude to the people who have made a difference to them – this is powerful. They also write affirmations which are shared confidentially, and these special pieces of paper are often treasured well after our students' time at MSM has finished. Our Year 12 students will also share a letter of gratitude to their parents at the Graduation Dinner – this is a very important part of our graduation rituals.
The third stage is “adopting new behaviours as a result of interacting with those who have helped you”. This is the most challenging stage. In her blog Dr Colvin quotes Deepak Chopra “When your gratitude leads to showing more sympathy, less judgement and greater appreciation for life itself, you are setting the stage for years of positive reinforcement. By adopting gratitude as your default position, so to speak, you tell your brain that positive input is going to far outweigh negative input. Mixed signals lead to mixed results. By being consistent in your attitude of gratitude, you set down a blueprint that over time leads to brain changes with far-seeing benefits”.
As we approach the final two weeks of the school year there is still much to do. We continue to pray for our Year 12 students who finish their external exams on Tuesday. Students in Years 7-11 are entering assessment mode and our thoughts and prayers turn to them. It has been a huge year and we are all feeling tired, so it is time for the “final push”.
In our Catholic/Christian context we can draw inspiration from Mother Theresa who said “Gratitude to God is to accept everything, even my problems with joy. Joy is my prayer. Joy is my strength”.
May you find joy and an attitude of gratitude in the coming weeks.
In faith and love
Enter to WIN! Make sure you buy your tickets in the MSM Foundation Raffle for your chance to WIN $2500 credit towards tuition fees or $1500 cash prize *. Proceeds will be directed to the the MSM Foundation in support of the College’s future building projects.
Ticket sales close Tuesday 22 November with the winner to be drawn on Wednesday 23 November at 10am AEST.
World Kindness Day is this Sunday, 13 November. We know that acts of kindness raise endorphin levels, which boost energy. The most recent findings in neuroscience demonstrate that learning takes place as a whole-brain approach, enhancing the connections between cognition and the social-emotional domains that are crucial for human flourishing. Research also shows that with a focus on kindness, the rush of endorphins creates wellbeing and belonging as well as improved health and reduced stress levels.
Today, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, our community paused to mark Remembrance Day, observing a minute’s silence to mark the moment in 1918 when the guns along the Western Front fell silent, signaling the end of the First World War. As is tradition across Australia, our College community paused to remember all those who fell in service to their country, and to pray for peace in our world. We hold in our hearts today all defence service personnel and their families.
Surviving (and enjoying) the Holidays
As we near the end of the school year we are faced with the experience of excitement and celebration in the midst of the challenges associated with finalising assessment and battling fatigue.
As we conclude week 6, we are now moving into the peak assessment period for Term 4. I encourage all students to keep track of when their assessment is due by using their assessment calendar and to maintain a consistent effort in their application to their studies so that their results will be truly reflective of their abilities.
The Year 10 Business & Enterprise students held their Christmas Markets as part of their unit of study on Becoming Enterprising. There has been a lot of discussion in class about costs, profit and how to effectively promote their products. The market was a huge success!
Congratulations to Year 11 students, Lucie and Hannah who were recently awarded the QUT Dean's Award for Engineering Prize for being the top Year 11 MSM students in Geography during 2022.
A group of keen Year 7 French students were treated to freshly baked pains au chocolat after school prior to viewing the film ‘Belle et Sébastien’ in which the students were transported back in time (to the 1940s) and place (to the French Alps). Un très bon après-midi!
Year 10 Digital Technology students have been engaged in an engineering project to design, build and code an opening bridge using Lego and sensors.