“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Morality is the theme this week. “The principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour” is how the dictionary defines morality, and more specifically defines it as pertaining to all people as human beings, rather than morals which may pertain to a particular belief or society.

Part of what all independent schools must show is that they teach students to… “distinguish right from wrong, understand and respect systems of rules and laws, and accept responsibility for their own behaviour, including towards others”. Which sounds simple, and which in theory is, as it is teaching them to be good people, respectful people, empathetic, sympathetic, caring people.

Every interaction that we have with our students should model the behaviours we wish to see replicated. So if we as teachers are late, grumpy, tired, disrespectful and shout at the students we should not be overly surprised to see this replicated. If we display the opposite behaviours, it is amazing to see the difference.

Going back to the quotation, how many of us have the guts and conviction to stand up and say something when we see a challenge or a controversy? It is certainly often much easier to “go with the flow” and not “rock the boat”, but is it the right thing to do? We want our young people to be standing up for what is right-not necessarily for them, but what is morally right. We want them to challenge something that they don’t agree with. I’m not talking revolution, but being a strong individual, not afraid to stand up, stand out and be different.

It was great to see everybody back in Padworth on Sunday and Monday and listen to all the stories from the half-term break. As the end of the week approaches, however, it is amazing to see how tired everybody is-the 1st week back is always the hardest, even after only a week away!

Have a great weekend wherever you are and don’t forget to pop in and see us if you are in the area

Best Wishes

Chris Randell