Ten years ago the standard answer most people gave to the question: “How are you going?”was “Good.” Now the standard answer you hear, or even say yourselves, is “Busy.” It seems as though our lives have become busier and busier and I think subliminally we believe a busy life is an important life, and the busier we are the more important we are.
It is a trap that I find myself falling into from time to time.
Every year I look forward to Christmas, but at the same time think “How am I going to get everything done before then. – I’m too busy!” I have a funny feeling that I am not the only one who thinks this way.
In our busy lives, stopping and reflecting every now and then is important. Christmas certainly is a time we do that. We stop and think about the birth and life of Christ and the amazing gift He was and is for humanity.
A break at the end of the year also gives us an opportunity to think about the year that was, celebrate our achievements, thank God for His provision, and think and plan for the future. We should take the opportunity to lift our heads from the busy lives we are leading and think about what we have achieved and make sure we are on the right track and not just doing things for the sake of it.
2018 has been another significant year in the life of Cedars. Our students have again had great success in the classroom with standardised tests showing significant growth in learning and our external testing results were also strong.
We have continued with our strategies – targeting literacy and numeracy skills and coupled that with innovative programs such as iAcademy in Years 7 to 10 and the introduction of Coding and Robotics through the primary years.
Not only are our students developing the STEM based skills that are considered important for the future of our nation, they are also receiving instruction and opportunities to develop those more difficult skills to teach in a classroom such as innovative thought, entrepreneurial skills, collaborative processes and effective communication. Our iAcademy Expo this year highlighted the success of this program. Plus the many different ways our students performed in other academic endeavours and competitions not only culminated in success but led them to being published in journals, be highlighted by external organisations, and motivated them to find innovative ways to not just learn but to help others in society.
We have always had a strong vision for developing leaders at Cedars. This year our senior leaders participated in the Global Leadership Summit hosted here at Cedars as well as GRIP leadership training and our own program at Lighthouse focussing on the seven habits of highly effective people. Our student leaders continue to represent the College and themselves well. They are highly regarded in the community and have a clear vision of what leadership looks like. Our leaders develop a plan for the year and work towards it every week.
We have also continued this year to equip our students for success in academia, sports, arts, humanities, social skills, spiritual maturity and many other areas that make Cedars great. Hopefully you follow us on Facebook or Instagram and read our newsletters which all highlight the many success stories of our students.
Additionally, we have improved our facilities, developed a school App, held community events, and while all of that was going on, we have been building a new Early Learning Centre.
It all sounds like another busy year in the life of the College, but as I look back over the year I don’t think about the tasks or the stress of trying to get everything done. I look at the individual students and am encouraged to see how they have developed throughout the year.
I recall the stories of students or families overcoming hardships and how the Cedars’ community rallied around them in their time of need. I see that, in a year where it appears we have been focussed on growing the size of our school facilities, the most significant growth has been in each individual child and how they have learned, matured and participated in the College community; and I see how God’s provision and partnering with families has allowed that to happen.
So let me encourage you in this busy life that we all seem to lead, take the opportunity before the end of the year to take stock. Look back at the year that was, celebrate achievements and thank God for all He has done. I look forward to doing just that with you at Cedars Celebration next week.
Let me also encourage you that if you do not normally attend a church service at Christmas think about getting along to one this year to reflect on the wonderful gift we were given through the birth of Christ. There are some flyers with events and dates in this weeks newsletter.
I hope that you have a wonderful and refreshing Christmas.