Well it’s offical!

We are now officially Families & Friends of Blue Gum!

 Report on our Meeting held Wednesday 27 February 2013

Thanks to all the parents that came to the meeting to pass the special resolutions to change our name, objectives and other parts of the FBG constitution.  Just in case you have missed all the action, those resolutions are included at the end of this post.  Special thanks to Murray Delahoy who took responsibility for redrafting the constitution.

Challenging Behaviour – why problem-solving, not praise, is the best strategy

Michaeli Hillam and Rosie Grim (the Education Directors of the Dickson and Hackett Campuses respectively), assisted by Sophia Williams (Playgroup Director), facilitated discussion and answered questions on the pitfalls of praise and alternative ways to engage with our children.  We came away with a better understanding of how Blue Gum educators interact with our children to help them reflect on what they have done or achieved.  Students are asked questions, such as how they feel about what they have done, and the process they went through to produce the work.  These sorts of questions provide students with the ability to constructively analyse their own work, as well as feel an internal sense of satisfaction.  As parents, we had the opportunity to reflect on our own practices and discuss new strategies for engaging with our children, particularly when they are already praise junkies!  There was also time for people to ask specific questions about issues with their children, including getting children to organise themselves in time for school in the morning (with lots of different strategies put forward by parents) and ways to deal with sibling rivalry.

For further reading on the topic of praise, see an article by Po Bronson in the New York Magazine entitled How Not to Talk to Your Kids – The Inverse Power of Praise

These Q & A Sharing Sessions, about Blue Gum’s philosophy, will be an ongoing feature of the Families and Friends meetings held each term.

Stop Press: Another Q & A Sharing Session will be held at lunchtime this Thursday 7 March, 12.30-1:30pm Hackett Campus Meeting Room. Executive Director, Maureen Hartung, will lead the sharing – whether full of praise or otherwise – that’s up to those attending! All welcome!

Special Resolutions passed at the meeting

Special Resolution 1: to alter the name of Friends of Blue Gum to Families and Friends of Blue Gum

Special Resolution 2: to alter the objects of the association to the following:

(a)    Represent the collective interests of Blue Gum families within Blue Gum Community School and in the wider community;

(b)   Assist Blue Gum families, friends and the wider community to understand and support the Blue Gum education philosophy;

(c)    Support and organise activities, including fundraising, aimed at enhancing the students’ experience at Blue Gum Community School; and

(d)   Foster a strong Blue Gum community through initiatives that connect Blue Gum families and friends with each other, and with the wider community, including community and business organisations and governments.

Special Resolution 3: to alter the rules of the association, in summary, to:

  • incorporate changes associated with Special Resolutions 1 and 2;
  • simplify membership arrangements (all primary carers are automatically members, remove provisions for membership fees and forms and the liability for members to contribute to the payment of debts of the association);
  • remove the restriction on the number of ordinary committee members (formerly 3);
  • include a process to fill positions not filled at an annual general meeting at a general meeting.

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