Latest News & Reminders
Welcome Back to Term 4
I want to extend a big welcome back to all students and their families to the final term of 2015. This term is very busy and will rush by in the blink of an eye. We have much to do to round the year off and we will do so with enthusiasm and energy. It is easy to muster when you have such fantastic students to work with and a community which loves to be involved. Onwards and upwards, everybody.
Key Dates for Term 4
- Monday, October 5: Start of Term 4
- Wednesday, October 7: Grade 2 Excursion to Scienceworks
- Friday, October 9: Whole School Assembly
- Friday, October 16: Department Assemblies
- Monday, October 19: Grade 1 Excursion to Scienceworks
- Wednesday, October 21: Geelong Cup Holiday (No Students)
- Thursday, October 22: Art and Music Show Celebrating 150 Years
- Friday, October 23: Whole School Assembly
- Friday, October 30: Department Assemblies
- Friday, October 30: Trivia Night Fundraising Event
- Monday, November 2: Middle School Philip Island Camp Begins
- Wednesday, November 4: Middle School Philip Island Camp Returns
- Wednesday, November 4: Prep 2016 Transition Afternoon Session 1 - Group A
- Thursday, November 5: Prep 2016 Transition Afternoon Session 1 - Group B
- Friday, November 6: KidsLinks Disco in Evening
- Friday, November 6: Whole School Assembly
- Wednesday, November 11: Prep 2016 Transition Afternoon Session 2 - Group A
- Thursday, November 12: Prep 2016 Transition Afternoon Session 2 - Group B
- Friday, November 13: Department Assemblies
- Wednesday, November 18: Prep 2016 Transition Afternoon Session 3 - Group A
- Thursday, November 19: Prep 2016 Transition Afternoon Session 3 - Group B
- Friday, November 20: Whole School Assembly
- Friday, November 27: Department Assemblies
- Monday, November 30: Swimming Begins for Grades 1-4
- Thursday, December 3: Prep Parents 2016 Information Night
- Friday, December 4: Whole School Assembly
- Monday, December 7: Grade 6 Orientation Day at High Schools
- Tuesday, December 8: Grade 6 Orientation Day at High Schools
- Tuesday, December 8: Orientation Morning Session for our New 2016 Preps
- Friday, December 11: Swimming Ends for Grades 1-4
- Friday, December 18: Last Day for 2015
Developing Your Child's Social Media Scripts
It's important to start conversations with children about using social media at a young age to prepare them to be savvy users when we're not around. "If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well."
This mantra always pops into mind whenever I'm about to cut some corners or do a rushed job in any endeavour. As a result, I double-check every article I write for mistakes. I over-prepare every talk I give. And I continually edit and re-edit my books. This message keeps me at the top of my game.
I can thank, or blame, my mother for inserting this mantra in my mind as she repeated it whenever I did a rushed job as a youngster making my bed, doing homework or cleaning up my bathroom mess.
Parents of every generation have always found ways to frame messages of safety and success for their children to remember. Parents of past generations who only had to contend with the offline or real world intuitively knew that they needed to teach child important lessons about safety and manners rather than assume they'll be understood.
The same maxim holds true for the world of social media that children now inhabit from an increasingly young age. Even though our children are growing up with technology as a part of their everyday lives, they will still make plenty of mistakes while using it. This means we need to have direct conversations with our kids about the comments and posts that are okay to make using social media of all forms.
As parents we teach our kids to talk politely and clearly so that they know how to speak to others when we're not around. In effect, we give our kids social scripts to fall back on when they talk to friends, teachers and relatives. There's no guarantee they'll look an adult in the eye when they speak to them, but our discussions, reminders and lessons about manners will hopefully hold up when we're not around.
The same applies to social media. Our conversations and lessons will prepare them to be savvy users when we're not around. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. "Is this worth posting?"
The relatively impersonal nature of social media means that we can post information and pictures with relative immunity. Also its immediacy means that we can do so without much thought. This means that kids need to be very critical about what they see online. 'Is this accurate?' and 'Is this worth posting?' are two valid questions children can ask when they read posts placed by others.
2. "Have you taken a big breath?"
A child who blurts out everything that comes into his mind without thinking is sure to put plenty of people offside. 'Think before you speak' is the type of message that every child should have in mind. The same applies to social media. Just because they think something doesn't mean they post it. 'Take a big breath' may just about be the most important message to give your kids about social media.
3. "Do you want the principal to see this?!"
An invitation to a teenage birthday party posted on social media is one way to get more attendees than you bargained for! The viral nature of social media means that kids should only post messages and photos that they want to be spread and read by a large audience.
4. "How does this post make you feel?"
We need to teach kids that not every post needs to be commented upon and not every thought needs to be shared, particularly when they are angry. Teaching them to walk away and then to step back in when they've calmed down is perhaps the most important communication lesson of all. It is very relevant to social media as emotions are often the last thing on many people's minds when they haphazardly post a message.
5. "How will you fix this?"
Social media just like any social space requires kids to behave ethically and with kindness. When kids overstep the mark and post hurtful things then it's fair that they fix their mistakes, and apologise. It's reasonable that we teach our children to act with tolerance and with empathy online, and if mean things are posted then they should be expected to try to repair relationships through social media, just as they should offline.
I agree with Galit Breen author of Kindness Wins who says that parents should have conversations with children around social media before they reach the teenage years. Starting these conversations when they are younger means that they are more open to our parenting opinions, as well as being a little more amenable to the messages of tolerance, kindness and empathy that we need to encourage.
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