DearParents/Guardians/Families and Colleagues, Dia dhaoibh! Вітаємо !
September reached its end, and what a busy month it turned out to be! We are now in mid-October already. Our educators and pupils are beavering away each day after a lovely, long summer break. Autumn transforms the countryside again into colours of orange, brown and red. Education also has the power to transform lives.
“I could never think of education without love” is a beautiful reflection from the great Brazilian educator and philosopher, Paulo Freire, in his celebrated publication, Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Likewise, the great Ukrainian writer on educational matters, Vasily Sukhomlinsky, in his wonderful text, The School of Joy, when asked what was the most important thing in his life, would always reply: “ my love for children and always to foster in the child the desire to learn. The kind of people that boys and girls see us to be, is a factor of decisive importance. Nothing amazes or absorbs young people so much, nothing awakens the desire to learn so forcefully as a clever, intellectually enthusiastic, kind and generous person.” What an exhortation for truly inspiring teachers who understand the importance of the affective, relational dimension in education and the need to establish a deeply caring relationship of true genuineness and concern with pupils? The greatest examples of these ideals in education are evident here in our school, in particular with our programme of Extra-curricular Activities. The late poet, Brendan Kennelly, in his many ruminations on education, talked many times of the best teacher that he ever knew, a Jane Agnes McKenna, whom he describes thus:
“I thought she was a great teacher because she was compassionate, she was sympathetic and she was a listener. She worked very hard at her job. She imparted a great love of candour to me. She was enthusiastic and never dull. You cannot be a dull talker and be a good teacher. It has to do with a certain kind of excitement and enthusiasm is very important.
She would listen to the pupil and coax out the egos of the pupils, she would bring them out into the light of day. I think that’s truly the core of it. The most important thing is to allow the pupil to emerge.”
These salient features of this portrait are the dedication, integrity, compassion and love of learning of the teacher. The personal development of the pupil is of central concern and it is as important as the learning in building hope, resilience and confidence. The transmission of encouragement, self-autonomy, of positivity, self-belief, are so necessary for life’s journey, learning to cope with success as well as failure and defeat. Hope is the one central ingredient that is an absolute, that needs to be engendered in everything we do, whether in the classroom or on the sports’ field or in our interpersonal dialogues.
Ann Marie Bourke
Team Hope ™ Christmas Shoebox Appeal:
is an annual campaign that delivers gifts straight into the hands of children affected by poverty. Often these shoebox gifts are the only gift that a child will receive at Christmas and the joy that they bring is incredible. Since 2010, these boxes have delivered over 2.1 million Shoebox gifts to Vulnerable Children across the world. We are delighted that Kilmacanogue National School will take part in this appeal once again after a break over the past few years. More information will be sent home with the children next week.
Green Schools and Garden Update:
Following on from our work on water awareness and water conservation, which resulted in being awarded the Green Flag for Water, we will now commence a two year programme of work on the
next Green School Theme which is ‘Travel’ (to and from school). We will also be continuing our work and interest in the themes of ‘Litter and Waste’ ‘Energy’ and ‘Water’ all of which we already have our flags for. Watch this space for Green School Updates. OUR RENOVATION OF THE SECRET GARDEN LAST YEAR HAS MEANT THAT OUR BEAUTIFUL SCHOOL GARDEN ISN’T SO SECRET ANYMORE! IT IS A VERY SPECIAL PLACE WHERE EVERY THING AND EVERY ONE CAN GROW AND BLOSSOM. THANK YOU TO MISS EVA WHO SPENT PART OF HER SUMMER HOLIDAYS MINDING THE GARDEN SO IT LOOKED SO LOVELY WHEN WE ALL CAME BACK TO SCHOOL. THANK YOU TO CILLIAN IN 5TH CLASS WHO HAS MADE BEAUTIFUL WOODEN SIGNS FOR EACH CLASS TO MARK THEIR OWN SPECIAL AREA OF PLANTING IN THE GARDEN. WE DON’T WANT TO DIG UP ANYONE’S BULBS OR SEEDS. IF ANYONE COULD DONATE ANY SMALL GARDENING TOOLS THAT THEY AREN’T USING ANYMORE, WE WOULD BE VERY GRATEFUL AND PLEASE THINK OF US IF YOU HAVE ANY EXTRA BULBS THIS PLANTING SEASON.