Each term I attend a meeting of the heads of South Australian, Western Australian, and Northern Territory Lutheran secondary schools.

These meetings are a brilliant opportunity to be reminded of the fact that we are not isolated, but are part of a system of schools with a shared mission, and to network and see what other schools are doing.

Apart from this we also undertake professional development as part of these times.  Whilst attending the meeting last Thursday and Friday, we were queried as to our preferred future reality for our schools.  I can quickly and easily identify the 21st century learning I want us to aim for as a school.

We were then queried as to what we do now in our roles.  I described things like, deal with whatever issue arrives at my office door, spend anytime I can trying to wade through my e-mails, and then work on strategizing for future direction if I get time as my final priority.  In all honesty, I would say less than ten percent of my time is spent strategically on what I feel is actually the most important part of my role, through the necessity of other things that just have to be done.

While I can articulate what I want my role to be, it’s not reflected in what I do on a day to day basis.

Finally they queried us as to what, “What is your work?”  What are the things you are called to do as part of your role.  As much as it is a part of my role that simply has to be taken care of, because it’s the way people communicate, my job is not “E-mail answerer”.

My work, what I’m called to do to the best of my ability, is to be part of providing the best possible holistic education, looking for opportunities to grow and improve what we are doing as a school to improve student outcomes, and to be part of the spiritual exploration and development of our school community.  I’m called to serve as a leader.  This questioning led me to the realisation that I have to prioritise and make time for these important tasks.

While I often reflect and query how well I’m achieving these goals, I do also have to reassure myself that we don’t always see the results of our work in the here and now.

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Damian Bradley

Head of Secondary.