Over the last 23 years teaching at St Edmund’s College, I have had the pleasure of being an Assistant Year Co-ordinator and/or Assistant Head of House for over 15 of those years. These are just some observations of the people who perform countless hours of service to the students and the College.
From Year 7 to Year 12, your son relies on the efforts of six people to make sure from the time they leave your house in the morning and arrive at the College, then to the time they get home, their care and well-being is provided for.
From that talk in Year 7 from Menslink about the issues of mental health, to the time at Year 12 Graduation Mass and Dinner when your son hugs and thanks you for just being there, you can thank a Head of House.
Remember that time your son had fun and adventure at camp or retreat with his friends from school? Heads of House do as well, from about 6.00 am to about 12.00pm each day on camp. From the swimming carnival to athletics, and everything in between, those magnificent six constantly try to make the time your sons spend at the College one of safety and enjoyment.
The role of Head of House is not about position at the College, or the pay it brings; it is about a genuine concern about the pastoral care and well-being of your sons at the College, and the type of young man they grow to be. It is at times a thankless job – the one who gives out detentions, makes students stay in at lunch and the one who only calls parents when students do something wrong.
The truth is that they are also the ones in whom students confide, having conversations they could not have with parents or carers. Heads of House listen intently to the troubles of adolescents and are there to provide a shoulder, for a tear to be shed in times of grief.
So next time your son comes home happy or grumpy, spare a thought for a Head of House.
Head of O’Brien House (Acting)