Inspiring the young is demanding but rewarding
02 May 2022
Caroline Chisholm College Glenmore Park Principal Tania Cairns.
Principal at Caroline Chisholm College Glenmore Park.
What do you do in your job?
No two days are the same. I love greeting students as they arrive at school, visiting classes and learning about students. I meet with staff and students throughout the day, listening to concerns, solving problems and ensuring optimal learning and wellbeing.
What first sparked your interest in teaching, and what have you done?
I’m inspired to make a difference to the lives of young people who face challenges like climate change, increasing mental health needs and the dynamic nature of the future of work. I love being a positive role model, inspiring students to be all they can be.
I have worked in a variety of roles in Catholic education over the last 35 years, from PDHPE teacher to leadership roles in learning, curriculum, school compliance and wellbeing. I was Principal of Penola Catholic College before becoming Principal Leader of Caroline Chisholm College, an all-girls’ college in the heart of Western Sydney, Penrith.
What do you like most about the job?
I love responding to new challenges each day, creating a learning community where positive relationships are at the forefront of all we do. We want our students to experience success each day and have strong, caring support networks to grow and flourish.
What was the most unexpected thing you have had to do in your job?
I have taught many different subjects, but the most unusual was a Year 12 Living Skills course that involved changing car tyres, checking oil and preparing meals on a budget. It was a lot of fun.
What is the worst thing you have had to do?
The most difficult aspect has been dealing with the loss of a student or staff member. It’s hard to be the “tower of strength” when you are also impacted by such events. My faith gives me strength and empathy as a leader to support my community in those times.
What challenges have you faced during the pandemic?
It has been a challenge that has changed the nature of teaching and learning but also helped us to better appreciate the “real” face-to-face experience we have as a community of learners. Educators learned we are more adaptive, innovative and creative than we ever imagined. Students were receptive to online learning but very excited about the social dimensions of returning to school.
How transferable are your skills?
Our interpersonal and relational skills allow us to work in a variety of ways and contexts. Very applicable skills from my postgraduate health qualifications and past customer service roles are effective communication, creative thinking, problem-solving and critical thinking, collaboration and empathy.
What advice do you have for people wanting to get into teaching?
Teaching is an incredibly rewarding career where you play a part in shaping the lives of young people, creating opportunities where they aspire to achieve exceptional goals and enjoy a worthwhile and fulfilling future.
What personal skills do people need?
Most important are being able to listen carefully, be patient, communicate effectively, be adaptive, think creatively and always be empathetic to students as learners. Teachers need the ability to multitask and to collaborate.
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Our FIAT (Faith in Action Team) took part in the LIFTED Leaders event. The team joined with 180 student leaders from schools across the Diocese to engage in a day of worship and share leadership goals and initiatives that are being implemented within their communities during 2024.
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Today was the last day of Urban Challenge. Team 8 (Macarthur) started the day with a dance challenge. They then proceeded to hunt down a series of clues through Circular Quay and The Rocks.
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Team Nurses and Patients continued to show their incredible team spirit, determination and supportive natures in our adventures today. We mastered a dance routine, performed the Macarena on the Opera House steps, joined a busker at Circular Quay and hunted for clues to lead us to our next challenge in the Rocks. Year 10 then regrouped at Darling Harbour before we set off home. It’s been a fantastic two days!
01 Mar 2024
Today we were honoured to have Prue Car MP; Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Early Learning and Minister for Western Sydney return to the college in our 50th year to be presented with the first CCC Alumni Award. Prue is an ex-student and was the college captain in 2000. Prue demonstrates a strong commitment to serving the community with dedication and passion. We were delighted that Prue could be with us today to accept the award and to address the assembly with a speech on the importance of female role models before the launch of International Women's Week. Prue Car MP Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese
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FLASHBACK FRIDAY:Talent Quests were a highlight of the 90’s and over the years we have continued this tradition. Every year we are amazed at the diverse range of talented students who perform at these events. From music to dance to drama, there is always an array of entertaining performances. This photo is from one of our Talent Quests in the late 90’s. #CCCFlashbackFriday #50thanniversarycelebration #50yearsofCCC
01 Mar 2024
Get ready for International Women's Week! The campaign theme for International Women's Day 2024 is #inspireinclusion. When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world. When women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment. Collectively, let's forge a more inclusive world for women. Let's work for a brighter future where every woman has #EqualOpportunites and #equalrights. Keep an eye on the notices and screens around the college for events happening at school each day through International Women's Week.
29 Feb 2024
Team 8 (Cowgirls) had a fabulous day! They started in the city and then traveled to Bondi to complete a series of challenges. They enjoyed their dinner from Betty Burgers and are ready for another day tomorrow!