I read an article recently that I thought is of relevance to all parents. Bringing up teenage boys today is a tough job and not for the feint-hearted. Any tools that can assist you in this difficult period in their lives must be utilised. We as a school do as much as we can in the time that is available, but it is necessary to have a combined partnership that is evident to your sons. Ultimately we are all striving for the same outcome : to see your son being the best that he can possibly be and to ensure that he comes to no harm in the process of achieving his goals.
“When you see signs of adolescence in your child, it’s time to talk with them. As the parent of a preteen, your task is similar to that of a sports coach who’s trained his team all through the late summer and early autumn. Now the first match is about to occur, when direct coaching is not going to be possible. So the coach gathers the players in the changeroom and makes one last speech before they take the field. He reminds them again of the fundamentals of the game, and gives them the old pep talk about winning.
Similarly, as the parent of a preteen you’ve been teaching them through preschool and primary years about right and wrong, what to believe, and how to behave. Now the big contest called ‘adolescence’ is about to begin and your team will take the field. From that point forward, very little parental advice can be given.
A Christian psychologist recommends that parents take an eleven- or twelve-year-old child on a ‘preparing for adolescence’ trip, during which moral values and family principles are repeated and emphasised: sex education and the physical changes of adolescence, the approaching social pressures, and other fundamentals that should be discussed.
When you’ve done this, you’ve two things left to do:
If you have not had the opportunity to do so to have the chat with your son, it is not too late to do so.
Please continue to work with us in supporting your sons through adolescence. If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.
Above all a good teacher likes to learn. We often teach best, not what we already know, but what we want to learn. A love of learning is a precious gift to give our boys. A good teacher practices the skills involved in the craft of teaching and the importance of good discipline. We are all of us individuals and have our own personal style, but there are classroom management skills that have universal validity, that will not cramp your style, but allow learning to happen.
Our own Managing Learner Behaviour [MLB] system is there to support you in the classroom to make things easier for you – please refer to it and make use of it especially with regards to positive reinforcement.
Good classroom management eliminates confrontation and conflict and fosters good relationships and effective learning. Without order, every lesson will be a battle. Boys will behave as badly as we let them and will then dislike us for it and hate the disruptive classroom conditions they have helped create. At College, YOU are in charge.
As control improves, paradoxically you can pay less attention to it and enjoy teaching more. Good relationships in a classroom are not only an ingredient of successful classroom management, but also to a considerable degree they are the result.
50 of you are mentors and when you add the housemasters and assistant housemasters, there are 70 of you who are working on relationships with our boys particularly through our mentoring programme. Those of you who have been in the system for three years now will know those boys pretty well I would think and each year you have an addition of only five new boys. A reminder that they may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel in your relationship with them.
Maintain your standards outside of the classroom as well be that in a sports team, cultural activity and/or duty. Do not ignore boys misbehaving as they might be in the next class that you have to teach or supervise. They will remember that you didn’t care enough to take action.
You open the door to knowledge, teach skills, makes things clear, enable boys to do more and do it better, to understand more and understand better. You have the potential to influence the direction of a whole life.
I firmly believe that it is our role of teachers to help boys feel good about themselves, because every boy is special and unique, and we should celebrate their uniqueness with them and help them to realise their own particular talents.
Finally, a quote by William Arthur Ward which sums up the challenge that we have
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. “
That is my challenge to you this year – INSPIRE YOUR BOYS
What an extremely honourable, privileged, powerful and potentially rewarding challenge that is!
Thank you for what you have done for so many boys over a number of years and the impact that you have had on them to date. I wish you all a very inspiring and rewarding 2017.
Pro Aris et Focis
We are very pleased to share the 2016 National Senior Certificate results as the Form 6 class of 2016 have done themselves and the school extremely proud, and we congratulate them warmly. Our sincere appreciation and thanks to the dedicated staff who supported these young men so completely.
They achieved a 100% pass rate and we are particularly pleased with the quality of their passes which saw them attain a 95% Bachelors’ Pass.
K Allopi, B Anderson, M Charfaray, D Charters, R Hodgson
M Essa, J Godfrey, M Godfrey, TN Madlala, S Pillay, R Rajaram, J Tooke, A Van Heeswijk, G Van Rensburg
S Aheer, M Dicks, T Drummond, D Emmanuel, T Govindasamy, C Hope, M Jooma, H Moodley, L Pillay, H Rajeev, J Richards, C Smith
M Asmall, K Chetty, T Currin, D Jackson, R Janse Van Rensburg, T Naidoo, M Nhlabathi, C Nompozolo, L Shezi, A Sutherland
M Aziz, S Chamane, C Dowell, D Grubb, L Matthews, G Meiring, M Mncwabe, J Myburgh, J Oberholzer, E Pelser, B Power, S Shabalala, R Turnbull
Those who achieved 7 or more Distinctions/Level 7's have been celebrated in the media and the Top 14 performers deserve special mention:
We take this opportunity to wish the class of 2016 well in their future endeavours and thank them once again for their contribution to College.
DEPUTY HEAD: ACADEMICS
HEADMASTER’S ADDRESS PRIZE GIVING DEC 2016
Good morning ladies and gentleman, invited guests, parents and boys of Maritzburg College. May I extend a special word of welcome to our Guest of Honour, Mr Tony Tavern-Turisan Old Collegian of 2006 who currently holds the position of Director of Communications in the Mayor’s Office in Johannesburg.
Thank you one and all for taking the time to celebrate the academic endeavours of our boys and also to Rev Delme Linscott for his message.
It is appropriate at this public occasion to thank the Chairman Mr Craig MacKenzie and members of the School Governing Body for their commitment and service to College over the past year. We are indeed fortunate to have such passionate group of people looking after the best interests of the boys and staff – it is greatly appreciated.
Furthermore, I also wish to thank the Trustees of the Maritzburg College and Old Boys’ Memorial Trust under the superb chairmanship of Mr Martin Hellberg, for their incredible financial generosity, which has enabled us to be one of the stellar campuses in the country with our magnificent facilities for boys and staff.
Generally the end of an academic year at a school brings much excitement with it, but there is a downside in terms of staff farewells.
Unfortunately at this time of the year we have to say farewell to staff members who are embarking on new chapters in their lives. It is at this point that I wish to acknowledge them and their contribution to College:
We thank them for their contribution and wish them well for the future.
Despite the farewells, I am very happy to report that we are fully staffed from January 2016 with five Old Collegian’s returning to their alma mater, including two senior staff who that left in June this year.
Finally, I wish thank all members of EXCO and colleagues on the academic and administrative staff at College. I am uncertain whether parents and boys are fully aware of the huge sacrifices and commitments that our staff make on a daily basis to ensure what is best for the boys at the end of the day. The role of the teacher has become more complicated and onerous over the years and more and more responsibilities are being placed on their shoulders, and I am eternally grateful and indebted to them for what they do for your boys.
We are gathered here today to acknowledge the excellent results of a large number of our most competent academic boys.
I wish to raise two comments which focus on knowledge and learning.
The first comment focuses on an article written by Professor Veninga of the University of Minnesota.
‘We live in an incredible age in which new knowledge is produced daily. 85% of all scientists who have ever lived are alive today. The time interval between the realisation of an idea and its arrival in the market place is now the shortest in history, usually a few months. From the time of Christ’s birth to the middle of the 18th century, knowledge doubled. 150 years later it doubled again and then again in only 50 years. Today it doubles every three to four years.’
What is the significance of this?
This is an exciting era in which to live and in which to work. But for us and you to catch this excitement, we need to learn, grow and increase our knowledge.
We must be willing to learn; expand our frame of reference and discover new ways to utilise our talents in an ever changing world.
In the school environment, we need to urgently look at embracing and including the subject of entrepreneurship [the willingness to take risks and develop, organize and manage a business venture in a competitive global marketplace that is constantly evolving. Entrepreneurs are pioneers, innovators, leaders and inventors] and focussing on the skills that need to be developed:
1 COMMUNICATION SKILLS (LISTENING, SPEAKING AND WRITING)
2 ANALYTICAL AND RESEARCH SKILLS
4 INTERPERSONAL ABILITIES.
5 ABILITY TO MAKE DECISIONS AND SOLVE PROBLEMS.
6 ABILITY TO PLAN, ORGANISE AND PRIORITISE WORK.
7 ABILITY TO WEAR MULTIPLE HATS.
8 LEADERSHIP/MANAGEMENT SKILLS.
The responsibility lies with the us, the teachers, to guide the boys to focus their goals; prioritise their activities and discover new ideas which will ultimately transform our lives.
The second comment is about learning.
It is essential that we are continually learning and open to new ideas and that lifelong learning [i.e. on-going, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons] is taken as a given.
Count everything as a learning experience. Learn from your failures and ask yourself ‘What is it trying to teach me?’ The lessons are not always happy ones but they keep coming. Learn from your successes. Keep learning daily from your day at school, your teachers, mentors, coaches, friends and family.
Albert Einstein stated ‘Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.’’
Congratulations to those of you receiving awards today - you have certainly seized your opportunities and have earned our admiration and respect.
To excel at school takes determination, commitment and a positive attitude.
You can feel justifiably proud!
Finally, may I wish you all a very happy and safe holiday, a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Pro Aris et focis