Tena koutou katoa. Nga mihi nui atawhai.
On the last day of Term 2, our wonderful library team, so ably led by Chris Taylor, put on a breakfast gathering for all the staff to come and select their term break reading. Along with the lovely coffee from the Faith Café students, there were lots of recommendations from teacher to teacher about why this particular book would be a stunning read. A sort of ‘teachers telling stories about stories’.
Over the break, while I was travelling to and from a conference in Wellington, and especially at night, tucked up tight and warm against the Wellington cold and wind, I immersed myself in a Trent Dalton novel ‘All the Shimmering Skies’. It is the same author who wrote ‘Boy Swallows Universe’, a darkly humourous story of a young Australian boy, overcoming almost tragic challenges. I discovered this author during my recovery. What these two novels did, as all great stories do, is take you out of your current world, into an imaginary world where, for a time, you can escape where you physically are and get lost in the tale.
As an ex-English teacher, words and their power have always fascinated and intrigued me; the way words can move you and get an emotional response from you.
Preparing for next term, I was reviewing some of the brand work that CCAL is undertaking. One of the questions we are exploring is: what are the stories that students, ex-students, staff, parents, prospective parents tell and hear about our school? Fortuitously for us, most of the stories are positive. And we also know this from our Welcome meetings where new students repeatedly tell us that the reason they are coming to Carmel is that someone has told them their Carmel story – that it’s a great school to belong to.
So, whether you are reading, telling or listening to a story, remember the power of words to invoke our emotions. Enjoy that power. And thanks to Chris and her team for encouraging so many of us to experience this power, over and over again.