Lighting the flame of learning

Matthew 5:14 'You are the light of the world'

No doubt many of you would be familiar with the liturgical significance of the theme "Lighting a Candle'. In Christianity, the candle is commonly used as a symbol that represents the light of God. While the lighting of a candle has many meanings, its symbolism has much in common with the role we play in the shared educational journey of our boys at Scotch.

Just like the students and their learning journey, the flame of a candle is a living and vibrant symbol; it moves and flickers, unlike a light bulb which is steadily lit. The learning journey of every student is like a candle's flame, moving, flickering and bringing light into the lives of those with whom they come into contact.

As parents and teachers our role is to light a flame of inquiry in every boy, thus triggering a thirst for learning which is supported by a strong moral flame to guide them in their personal journey. The amazing part of this is that in the context of a student's progress through school, we may never fully know when the flame was lit or how that flame manifested itself in an array of academic, pastoral, spiritual and social pursuits.

As a College spanning K to Year 12, the flame can be lit anytime, anywhere or in any place across our three sub schools. This is just one of the many reasons why I am philosophically opposed to the notion of performance base pay in education. It could well be that we reward the end result, measured by high ATARS, where in fact the candle may well have been lit well before.

Meaningful teaching and learning is a journey where many flames are lit, some burn out while others are rekindled. The important fact is that we continue to light them. As educators we get to witness numerous incidents of brightly shining flames in the form of talented and committed students, supported and developed by talented and committed teaching and non-teaching staff.

In the moments where these lights flicker and threaten to extinguish themselves, it is even more important for us to provide the type of learning environment that will rekindle and sustain the learning journey flame for each student.