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From the Principal – April 2019

“Do Hard Things” is the name of a book written by teenage brothers, Alex and Brett Harris. It tells the story of these two brothers challenging themselves by setting high standards and as they state, “rebelling against low expectations set by others”.

They challenge the reader to help young people to intentionally do five kinds of hard things:

  1. Things that are outside their comfort zone.
  2. Things that go beyond what is expected or required.
  3. Things that are too big to accomplish alone.
  4. Things that don’t earn an immediate payoff.
  5. Things that challenge the cultural norm.

When our children are challenged, they “wobble”. This is not a comfortable, stable place to be; this is the zone in which they are stretched and taken out of their comfort zone. When they wobble, they grow. It isn’t necessarily easy and it isn‘t necessarily pleasant, but this is often the zone in which they learn most. This is not only true of children but adults too.

Looking at personal best is extremely important because we can focus on a students’ strengths, gifts and abilities. It is not a competition against others but a continuous striving to become the best version of ourselves. We live in a society where the path of least resistance is often the most attractive one. At Kalamunda we expect more from our students. We set the bar high and we challenge them to move out of their comfort zone into the zone of development. We want them to stretch, to grow, to flourish.

This was evident on Friday evening as our Year 4 students presented speeches and displays of their learning over the past term at ‘Night of the Notables’. Many ‘notable’ people attended the evening, among them were Neil Armstrong, Amelia Earhart, Sacagawea, Valentina Tereshkova, and Blackbeard.

It was fantastic to see the students confidently take on the persona of their explorer. They wrote and presented a speech from their explorer’s point of view. They stayed in character and had a variety of visual displays of their ‘notable’: digital presentations, posters, tables with a variety of artefacts and at some stations, food samples from the country of origin. The depth of knowledge and understanding of the ‘notables’ was demonstrated as they confidently presented their displays and answered questions from their guests.

The students were challenged to think critically, embrace their creativity, solve problems, be organised and demonstrate grit (perseverance). This was most definitely a great learning experience for each student; sharing this experience in real time, to a real audience was a reward for all the time, effort and energy invested.

Thank you to Mrs Pendal, Mrs Rimmer and Mrs Burne for setting the bar high and journeying alongside your students in the ‘wobble zone’. What a great testament to great learning!