What’s the weather like?

Issue 50: 19/1/2024 International Stream From the Principal

Growing up in the United Kingdom, I have become very adept at the need to answer the question "What is/was the weather like?" As I depart later today for London to attend the Search Associates teacher recruitment fair with Mr Armitage, colleagues have been very quick to point out the plummeting conditions currently being experienced in my home country.  "My big coat and woolley hat are already packed", I assure them whilst quietly inside shivering at the sub-zero temperatures I will encounter once stepping off the plane.

So it was with some inbuilt curiosity that I read an excellent blog article from a fellow Principal of High school in Singapore entitled  We are the weather: How teachers set the climate. In it Damian Bacchoo puts forward the case that teachers are very much in charge of setting the atmosphere in the classroom, that "the mood or energy we bring will be reflected in the classroom."  I agree with him that for the most part this is very true. There are special occassions where this can be challenging of course, when unplanned for events can temporarily make it difficult to take control. It got me thinking about the role of us as parents too, and the same argument can be said for how we as mums or dads have a strong influence on the weather conditions in the home environment. Do we pay attention to not bringing home any tempestuous conditions that may cloud our day in the office, and ensure that our children do not have to seek an umbrella or raincoat when we return home and unwittingly bring those stormy conditions into our house? Or do we ensure that we put those feelings aside, exude calm and bring sunshine in so that our children can live in bountiful conditions that allow for a nuturing, caring atmosphere in which to form the basis for a less stressed and turbulant free life?

So the next time that someone asks what the weather is like, think about the conditions that you set in and around those that are close to you. Climate change is becoming an unfortunate everyday occurrance that we all are having to live with, but that does not mean that it has to be the norm in the indoor living spaces that you occupy each day.

Mark Williams
Secondary Principal (International Stream)