Principal's First Principles: Our connection is more important than you think!

As a teacher and principal, I've been fascinated by the individual progress children make from their earliest interactions at school through to graduation. Which factors, over the years, have led to or influenced their academic and social success? There are many variables, of course, however, researchers and educators agree on one point at least: a child's behaviour and academic results improve significantly when their parents show an interest in their education.

When you dig into the research a little more, it's not complex. Parents certainly don’t need a series of three- or four-year degrees so they can reinforce learning in each specialisation their child encounters throughout their school career. It's less difficult than that. It's simply about showing interest; which looks like putting the other business of life on the back burner and coming along to school events. It's whether you take an interest in what they're learning and whether you're prepared to meet and partner with their teachers. Children witness the value you place in their education and commonly reflect, at school, the mindset and attitudes they see in you.

At Monday's Connect Evening, parents showed just how seriously they take their child’s education. I loved observing the excitement with which our Primary students took their caregivers into classrooms to meet the teachers. The eagerness for a great school year from parents and teachers was palpable.

The format for Connect on the Secondary campus was different this year and more closely reflected our increased behaviour expectations of adolescents and teenagers. Each Secondary student guided their parents to places on campus that they'd talked about beforehand and to where they could have their questions answered by the relevant people. Student concierges stationed at a welcome desk gave directions and pointed visitors to the student-manned tech station where they could get help setting up access to their parent portal on SEQTA. One new parent expressed how impressed he was by the welcome he received: "I had four points of contact with different students within minutes of arriving at the school!"

I enjoyed meeting new and returning families and took the opportunity to chat with a variety of people; including parents with children in Prep, parents with young people graduating at the end of this year, and parents of children every age and stage between. Thank you, BAC parents, for your involvement with BAC. I know how valuable it is to your child, and look forward to further opportunities to forge and reinforce our home-school connection this year.

Principal's First Principles is a series of editorials by Brisbane Adventist College Principal Mr Peter Charleson.