“Count your blessings” my mom used to say to me when I was really not feeling lilke counting anything in the world as a teenager. The world always does wrong to a teenager and then you want to intensely feel being wronged. On my birthday on Wednesday 4 November coming closer to the wrong side of being middle aged, I started counting my blessings automatically without even thinking about it. Our hospitality teacher, George and I, took the gr.11 Hospitality students to a High tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel. It is an annual occasion, which this year accidentally coincided with my birthday.
Our students arrived at school dressed at their best, they were joyfully good company on the way there, openly appreciative of the beautiful surroundings, adapted from casual manners to being classy and all of them were good company. They even presented me with a present of self made cookies and handwritten cards. Apart from feeling over whelmed, I felt so proud. Proud of the spirit of kindness, generosity and caring at NLA. Proud of the positive attitude and commitment of our staff -including teachers, cleaners, administrative and maintenance staff. Proud of our students who treat the older generation with respect, who are teenagers, but teenagers with a difference. They do not act as if they I have been wronged like I did. They always act content, keen to develop themselves, keen to interact with their teachers, and helping to create a happy environment. This pride automatically made me “count all my blessing”, many years later than what my mother intended.
At NLA we believe in teaching through nurturing, in concentrating on the positive rather than the negative, in acknowledging the problem but to concentrate on the solution, in treating each other with respect. As our motto says: a balanced life comes first.
It is important for every person to reach their full potential academically. However without life skills, it becomes meaningless and without function. Whether a student’s full academic potential is 100% or 40% is irrelevant. Of importance is the framework within which full potential is reached as this framework should provide a young person with the skills to earn an income, to contribute to society, to live a happy, productive life. Some of the attributes that we require from our students are:honesty, dependability,hard work , respect, punctuality – all help towards easy living.
Every year we concentrate on improving the facilities of at least one subject. In 2014 it was a big computer upgrade and network stability. In 2015 we revamped the hospitalityfacilities. 2016 will be Sciences, Life Sciences and Math year! At the moment we are looking at various computer support programmes for mathematics. A Dutch specialist is busy with developing more creative and relevant practical science assignments. The Kyle street building now officially becomes NLA Maths and Sciences centre. It makes more sense to have all the humanities together, and give Sciences a change to develop to it’s full potential.
We are looking forward to a exceptional 2016.