School Leaders' Updates
2020 Theme: Blessed to be a Blessing
At the Dedication Service on 2 Jan 2020, I shared with the students about this year’s theme “Blessed to be Blessing” which is linked to the Fairsian Outcome of Heart of Service.
Heart of Service is about being kind and gracious to be the people around us. We want to serve others from the heart, because of the core values that we uphold. We do not wait to be served but take the initiative to serve others, without expecting anything in return.
The theme verse is taken from 1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (NIV)
Over the course of the year, we will be considering different aspects of the theme, including three questions that we will revisit:
1. How have we been blessed?2. Why do we want to be a blessing?3. How can we be a blessing?
1. How have we been blessed?
I encouraged the students to count the many blessings for which they could be grateful:
1. Family to care for us2. Friends to encourage and support us3. Safe environment to live in4. Food and shelter and all our daily needs5. Clean air to breathe6. Clean water to drink7. Good health8. Many material things than we can ever use9. Our school, Fairfield, and the opportunity for education that many children in the world do not have
For me, the greatest blessing comes from knowing that each one of us is dearly loved by God and He has handcrafted each one of us. We are not mass produced in a factory, but lovingly created for a purpose. Knowing this gives us security because even if we feel that no one else truly cares for us, God does, and we all have value in His eyes.
The theme verse from 1 Peter 4 tells us that each of us has received a gift – no one is left out. Even when we may not think we are particularly talented, each of us has something we can contribute. Whatever strengths or skills we have can be used to be of help to others.
2. Why do we want to be a blessing?
God never intended us to hoard our blessings for ourselves. They are meant to be used to bless and serve others. 2 Cor 9:8 tells us why God blessed us abundantly – so that when we have all that we need, we will abound in every good work. 1 Peter 4:10 tells us the attitude we should have towards our gifts – we are to be faithful stewards – so that means we are not the masters calling the shots; we are stewards managing and utilising them for the master’s purposes. Oswald Chambers tells us “Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift…If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded.”
The 2nd reason for wanting to be a blessing is because we are all members of the same body. No one lives as an individual completely separate from other people. We are all interconnected and have an impact on one another. If we stub just our little toe, the rest of the body feels the pain too. In the same way, in the community of people we belong to, whether it’s our class or CCA, the way we speak and act will have an impact on the people around us. We also have opportunities to support and be of help to one another.
3. How can we be a blessing?
I asked the students to think about someone who always makes us feel good whenever we interact with him or her. One person I thought of is Mdm Leong Kit Yee in the General Office. When I step into the office in the morning, she always greets me cheerfully and brightens up the morning. She does this not just because I’m the Principal. She always has a smile on her face and is kind and helpful to everyone.
I challenged the students to be like Mdm Leong to be someone who can brighten up every morning with a greeting, not just on special occasions. I asked them to write down in their student diary something they can do to have a more positive impact on their family members, classmates, teachers, CCA mates and the people that they meet. We want to be people who can be a joy and blessing to all around us, and let no one come to us without leaving better or happier.
Later in the morning, the classes drew up a class covenant. Through this, they are making a commitment to one another – to consider how their words and actions have an impact on the class environment, and how they can contribute their skills and gifts to creating the conducive environment that they want.
I also reminded students that 21 Oct last year was Fairfield, Make Someone Smile (FMSS) Day and many of the students went out to do acts of kindness for people all over Singapore. I challenged the students to make every day FMSS day. We don’t need to wait for a special occasion to do kind acts. One way is be the kind of person who makes everyone feel like a somebody. Look out for people who may be left out and include them.
Another way we can be a blessing is to use our gifts and talents. In Term 4 last year, we invited Angeline Chen Ziyue to speak to us at Chapel. Angeline is deaf and had a hard time learning to speak, but she persevered and is able to lipread and communicate with hearing people. She discovered her talent for art and became an illustrator, expressing herself through her art, as well as bringing joy through the stories she illustrates.
Finally, we would like our students to become leaders with a strong personal voice. Students start by forming sound opinions through listening to others and reflecting deeply. They also learn to articulate their opinions with confidence and respect, as well as exercising moral courage to stand up for their beliefs. All these combine to bring about positive change – to be influential leaders who have a positive influence wherever they go.
We would like students to remember that getting an education is much more than doing well at the N or O-Levels. We want them to develop the learning dispositions and character that will prepare them to face life with confidence and be a blessing to others wherever they go. As the theme song reminds us, we need to carry the sunshine where darkness is rife, making the sorrowing glad.
Parents who wish to learn the theme song for the year “Make Me a Blessing” can refer to the weblink: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leF9RserKko
Let us continue to work together to help our students appreciate their blessings and want to me a blessing to others.
Ms Audrey Chen