Introducing Dr Judith Locke

From the Deputy Head
eLink (Friday 11th June 2021)

Community building is something that schools do well. In part, this is because the definition of good teaching mirrors the definition of good parenting. Good teaching and good parenting both rely on being responsive to the hand you have been dealt. Children are all different, be they in a family or in a classroom. The task with each group is to understand its collective strengths and limitations and work toward building a community where each member feels safe, respected and valued. This takes time and concentrated effort. It doesn’t happen by itself, and it looks different every year. In a family, the same children grow and change. In a classroom, a new crop of students starts afresh with a new teacher each year.

Being responsive to these changes in young people is powerful. But when adults are collectively responsive – at home and at school – it can transform young lives.

Girton has always enjoyed a strong community. By this, I mean that the values that the school espouses are typically supported by the families who choose to entrust us each day with their children. This trust fosters a level of synergy between home and school that translates to students thriving in school and in life. When parents and teachers are on the same page, it leaves more blank pages for students to write their own script. When young people write their own story, they are accountable and strong.

One way to continue to build a strong school community is to share what we believe are important sources of information that reflect the values our students are expected to uphold. Resilience, self-regulation and internal motivation are things that we strive to instil in our students, and it is these things I am delighted to confirm Dr Judith Locke will come to the school to talk about with parents and teachers.

Dr Judith Locke is a registered clinical psychologist, former teacher, school counsellor and workplace trainer. She is the director of Confident and Capable®, a company specialising in psychological training solutions for parents, children, teachers, childcare centres, government and community organisations, and private companies. She comes to Girton Grammar School highly recommended by other independent schools and by Independent Schools Victoria.

Over two nights – one for Senior School parents and one for Junior School parents – Dr Locke will speak about the line that all parents tread between being a good parent and over-parenting. She will talk about how to make young people motivated and accountable without the need for nagging. She will talk about the importance of taking a long-term view of parenting so that we don’t berate ourselves if children are not successful and happy right now. She will describe the adult temptation to blame others or to shield children from failure rather than letting children feel the troughs in life.

As teachers, we sometimes see children who are excessively fearful of failure, not wanting to go outside of the box for fear of getting it ‘wrong’. The adults in their lives should promote the enjoyment of the process of learning, encourage challenge, and accept that mistakes and wrong turns are always part of the journey. When this happens at home and at school, we see children come out of their comfort zone and develop in leaps and bounds, personally and academically.

At Girton, we are interested in Dr Judith Locke’s take on how growing resilient young people is the responsibility of all adults. Whether a child is at home or at school, when a child is rude to an adult, it is essential to give them a consequence. Whether a child is negative at school or at home, there are things that adults can do.

I strongly encourage you to register for one of Dr Locke’s forthcoming seminars at Girton to continue building a robust school community based on a shared understanding of how to help children develop maturity and responsibility to do well in their life at school and in life beyond school.

Register now: