Happy Year of the Pig to all. It’s been wonderful to share the celebrations and join the party! I’m proud of the rich international dimension that our parents bring.
In another life I once interviewed a lady who had been out of work for a very long time. On asking the question “What is your proudest professional moment?” there was a sharp intake of breath and the lady replied in the most disapproving tone “pride is a sin”.
I recognise that there are generations of people who were taught that but I would not agree that it is appropriate to teach it now. Pride at accomplishment is a great contributor to self-esteem and this week there have been some fantastic opportunities for children to feel proud. For the first two days of the week many children took music exams which they have been preparing for some time. I hope that they and you are proud of these milestones.
On Wednesday evening at the Interhouse Drama Duologue competition, we were given an astonishing array of sophisticated and emotionally mature performances from the Year 3 “Romeo and Juliet” balcony scene to the winning senior entry’s extract from “Blood Brothers”.
Frankly it was an unbelievable privilege to be in the room and the young people who got up and performed demonstrated phenomenal commitment, talent and understanding of what was required that can only be born of inspirational teaching. The winning junior entry, a powerful and word perfect performance of Prospero and Caliban’s exchange at the start of “The Tempest” delivered with thunderous confidence by Year 4’s A McRae and I Sharma was simply jaw-dropping.
So yes I feel pride and I want to tell everybody I meet how proud I was of every single child in that competition. Congratulations to all involved and to Alan Powell for creating the context in which this is “normal”. Our grateful thanks to Kate Weston for coming to judge this exceptional evening’s competition.
Throughout the week pupils have been thinking about the issue of having permission in the context of online and internet safety. The current culture of sharing is one in which modified images are the norm and may create a false sense of what is real and true and where some more unguarded moments may one day come back to haunt people if the sharing is too personal.
Pupils in Pre-Prep and in Prep have been thinking about whether they have permission to share images and information about their friends and in Prep we have watched some videos where children discuss what it feels like to have images of them shared online without their permission.
As parents in this digital age, if we are on social media, we of course have shared images of our children, probably because we are proud of them but sometimes to share their calamities and this week I have learnt a new word which I am happy to appropriate into my repertoire; “Sharenting”.
As is indicated by this word, sharenting involves parenting in a digital manner and sharing images of children regularly. Perhaps we should pause for thought about how we have sought permission to share. Did we ask our children? Do they even know? If they don’t, is this right?
The following video links might help you explore these ideas further and the third link is the one I showed to Prep school, where children are talking about how, on occasions their friends or their parents have embarrassed them with the images they have posted online and the comments these have generated.
Of course with so many families spread across the globe the internet and photo sharing is a wonderful thing but perhaps we do need to come back to the fundamental principle that the person in the photo does have rights over how it is used and we as parents ought to start asking permission before we post.
Whatever you’re doing this weekend enjoy every minute and perhaps consider do I really need to share?