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It was a beautiful Sydney Saturday morning in 2010 when I discovered what has now become one of my great loves in life, and I’m not talking about my wife Katie! I discovered a love for cycling and all that went with it. A mate invited me to go for a ride with a group that met every Saturday and did a cruisy circuit around Bobin Head (a beautiful National Park in Sydney’s North West). As far as the riding went, I struggled to say the least, but I loved being out in the early morning, chatting away and riding fast! A whole new world was opened up to me, and whether it was training for an event, commuting or a Saturday morning long ride, I loved every minute of it!
One of the great misconceptions with competitive road cycling is that it is an individual sport. Whilst there is only one team member standing on the podium, there is no other sport where that one person relies more heavily on their team to succeed. As Cadel Evan crossed the line and became the first Australian to win the Tour De France, it was just as much a victory for his team as it was for him. Why? Because Cadel knows what all cycling champions know, you are only as good as your team. What the average Le Tour punter might not see is the countless hours of sacrifice and effort that is made by each team to protect and support its leader. If Cadel didn’t have 8 other team mates shielding him from the wind, fetching him food and water, being right there to swap bikes if he had a crash or a mechanical issue he wouldn’t be able to streak away and come out in front on those big mountain stages where everyone else has faded. His whole team was dedicated to one man. When Cadel won, they all won. Even the prize money is shared amongst the team!
As a school, we are in a similar race. It might not have all the glamour and prestige such as a Tour de France, but for our students there is just as much at stake. As a school community and as teachers, in particular, our role is to support our students. For 13 years we get alongside, encourage and support. We pick students up who are stumbling and we cheer them on as they achieve their goals. Term 3 is coming to a close and for our Year 12 students this holds an enormous amount of significance. School as they know it is over. Thirteen years of school based education have come and gone and all that stands between them and life beyond school are a set of exams. That’s it. As a team, this is also our time to reflect on how this journey has played out for each of our students. As K-12 teachers, how did we perform in this race where our sole aim was to see each student succeed at life. Putting HSC marks and job opportunities aside, what part have we played in shaping these young men and women into who they are today? As teachers, we desire each student to succeed in whatever they set themselves to. We know that our role in this team sport is to partner with families to build in each student the character traits that are crucial for success in life. We provide opportunities not only to learn syllabus content but to develop strength of character, perseverance, gratitude, respect, compassion, resilience and the list goes on.
As a team, we are going to see our Year 12’s finish strong. We are committed to them as students because they are the reason we turn up to work each day! The work that Christ began in each graduate in the PCS context is nearly complete. As a team, let’s ensure they finish strong. When graduations, assemblies and ATARs have come and gone, we will continue this race with all our students. Committing ourselves again to developing confident young men and women, equipped, competent, excited to live lives that bring honour to God.
Is there any greater team to be a part of?! Have a great week!