Our staff, teaching and office staff, all take turn in presenting daily devotions. Below is a snippet from a devotion last week that I wanted to share with our wider school community, you should be able to guess who has written it.

“What does our school do different?” It has really driven itself into my heart.

Students come into the office and at times drive me mad. They touch things they shouldn’t, they do the complete opposite, then turn around and say to me “what do I say to Mr Hope, I know there’s no excuses”.

Really? Really? Kiddo! Learn by your own lessons. So then I sit there frustrated that young Peter has made me frustrated.

Suspension after suspension after suspension. It plays through my head “how many suspensions can one student get before Graham will finally boot young Peter. When is enough, enough?” If young Peter was expelled, the class dynamics would change, why can’t the first 4 suspensions be enough?

Change perspective…. Why is young Peter not learning the wrongs of his ways? He’s not dangerous physically but what’s the go?

Paul and I can walk through the staff room at times and slice the tension in the air with a spoon! Young Peter has caused disruptions in every lesson, nothing is going to plan, no technology is working, the simplest job on the computer turns into a 3 hour issue that our IT dude just won’t fix properly, everyone is tense.

Who’s dictating our thoughts? Are we allowing the harder students to dictate our thoughts or are we allowing God to dictate our thoughts??

“What does our school do different?” 

Our school takes the time to realise our kids journeys, need extra loving and extra grace.

Our school gives these students the pat of encouragement on the back, and tells them it’s ok but we need to make changes and help these students through it.

Our school takes the time to listen to kids that are living in broken homes with literally no food on the table at night time or breakfast time (of which we all take for granted).

By 2nd period the hurting students of our school might already be at breaking point from the night before and their behaviour isn’t actually deliberate, but possibly a result of not having eaten since the lunchtime before when another student brings them a spare lunch.

But to us, they are just naughty and need suspending.

“What does our school do different?” We believe and we shine a light for these kids.

Some of our high school students believe “no one believes in them” and they are literally fighting for someone to love them.

“What does our school do different?” We believe, with no exceptions. We love, with no exceptions.

There’s an old saying fall down 6 times but get back up 7.

“What does our school do different?” We ensure we are walking alongside our kids to ensure they get back up that 7th time!

Every school will have the 3 bands of students.. Below average, average, above average. Public schools or private schools they will all have it and they will always rave about the high achievers. And well done to them.

“What does our school do different? ” We ensure our below average students make it to the finish line regardless. We endure it with them and for them.

Where in the syllabus does it say we need to teach how to be grateful, how to have patience, how to believe and how to love another?

We have recently gone through our school and given reasons why we are grateful for young Peter and young Sarah, after the devotions and verbalising we are grateful for because, it gives us a sense of thankfulness and love and care.

If we were to teach our students the way of being grateful, it’s a way we can help them feel thankful, loved, cared and needed? Isn’t it??

Imagine taking a class around a circle and asking each student to pick another student and give 3 reasons why they are thankful for that student. It would teach them to respect each other as they have just given us reasons to be thankful for each other. The students that are missing out on love at home for 3 seconds out of a whole day have just been given 3 examples of why they are needed.

If a child feels needed, they feel loved.

“What does our school do differently?” We don’t give up on a student because they are too hard work.

We don’t give up on a student because they take all of the energy out of the lesson. We don’t give up!!!! We love and we endure !!!!

If we give up, who else will stick up for this child and what does it teach him/her?

God Bless, Graham