Upper School Pastoral Meeting

Thursday, 25 February 2021

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This meeting was designed for feedback to be given to the Upper School’s team of teachers from students, for practical tips to be provided from the counsellor and for advice to be imparted from senior leaders at the school, all to support teachers to continue the excellent job they have been doing so far this year.

Sage Ball, Vice Principal Pastoral, opened the meeting and wished to share news from our US students. Students surveyed said they have been enjoying their classes and that they appreciate all the efforts the teachers have been making. Students are aware of the bigger picture outside of school. They understand the economic crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic and the tragedy of the August 4th explosion. They understand the issues with WiFi. They commented on staff who were positive, applauding those in particular who used humour, as they know how difficult it is during these times.

Sarah Hanna, US Counsellor, then talked about teacher stress, sharing practical tips for alleviating stress. Tips to decrease stress include: a walk around the house or a walk outside in nature (keeping safe at all times of course). She also recommended to continue checking the news but to limit the amount one does as after a while news can be a real stress and too much is unhelpful. There were many other tips Ms Hanna provided, with the last and most important being for teachers (and everyone else) to focus on self-care.

Chadi Nakhle, Head of Secondary, and Rima Habib, Head of Intermediate, then provided some very worthwhile and wise advice to teachers, inviting them to consider students and their situations at home. Mr Nakhle said it takes skills for people to be able to cope during such extraordinary circumstances. Ms Habib recommended for teachers to catch up with students after class if there are any concerns and that as always simply listening is a great practice to follow.

Finally, Principal David Gray said he had listened closely to all the presentations and was very grateful to them and also to all staff, and how particularly appreciative he is for all they have been able to achieve and strive to achieve over the remaining months of the academic year. He reminded teachers to be gentle with themselves during these continuing challenging times. He is very proud how the school is running – a remarkable achievement – and asked all teachers to keep working hard. He ended by saying thank you very much to everyone.