Learning new skills

Father’s Day will mean a great deal more for me this year.

My daughter, our first born, is in my arms as I write this article – she is just days old, being home for minutes.

Last week was filled with emotion; anticipation, fear, intrigue, overwhelming happiness, excitement and apprehension. I am sure fathers in our community can return to the moment their son entered into the world and recall these feelings. However, I suspect many would not have worn masks throughout the duration of a birth and stay in hospital (COVID-19).

Upon reflection (yes, we have had some quiet moments), I began to think about the life skills that prepared me for this key moment in becoming a dad. Fortunately, I have had wonderful parents, teachers and mentors that have guided, questioned, challenged and nurtured me so that I have a suite of skills and a positive mindset.

Learning new skills and seeking understanding on new topics has been important as I look to care for a newborn.

Many of the skills and habits our teachers are teaching and promoting to our students are similar to those skills I have used to learn new things during the past week. These transferrable life skills are important towards fostering positive relationships, along with reflecting, questioning, communicating, thinking critically and problem solving. Changing a nappy or swaddling a newborn are necessary skills but more importantly, it is being able to effectively deal with challenges in different situations using the ‘soft’ or ‘essential’ skills that can make a difference in the learning process.

So, what does this mean for our young men studying in the Home Learning Program?

It is challenging at the moment with COVID restrictions but to avoid or retreat is not an excuse.

Use available resources (parents, siblings, peers and teachers) to improve your understanding of the people around you and the circumstance you are in. Acquire new skills by looking at opportunities to further develop oneself. Ask questions when you don’t have the answers to ensure understanding. Learn from your mistakes – reflect on how you can improve.

Continue the journey to become gentle men. You will fully understand this term when you hold and care for a child.

To the Whitefriars boys, spend some time thanking your dad this weekend. Stay strong and prepare well for your studies.

To the Dads, Happy Father’s Day.


Mr Mark Ashmore

Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching