Meet Elley. She is our school chaplain at Kaleen High. She is pretty great. As well as being a school chaplain, Elley is studying Social Work at Uni and serves as a youth group leader at her church. No day looks the same at school and no day is predictable. But here is a glimpse into a day in the life of a school chaplain!
8:30/8:45am– I rock up to school, not always knowing what the day will hold but always ready to face whatever ends up happening. After greeting the students I walk past and catch up briefly with a few of them before I get to my office where I chat with the other staff, read emails and catch up on what has been happening at the school if I haven’t been in for a couple of days.
9:30am – After feeling like I am caught up and ready for the day, I do a lap of the school to see if any staff or students need my assistance. I walk past a girl I know quite well siting on the floor in the hallway, avoiding class. I find out she hasn’t had much to eat today, so I take her down to my office where we have a cupboard for kids who need some food. As we sip our Up & Go’s together, I spend the next hour or so chatting with her about what is going on. There are a lot of things that come up and we end up talking through quite a few things.
11:00am- Recess Time!! I spend this half an hour walking around the canteen and lunch area chatting with kids- checking in with them and having a bit of a laugh. Sometimes things will come up that I will follow up more formally later on, but a lot if this is just building relationships and having a presence in the school.
11:30am- Recess is over so I head back up to my office to grab a few things and head to another room to run one of my girls groups. There is about 6-8 girls in each of these groups where we discuss things like bullying, self esteem, coping mechanisms, anxiety etc. The girls all find these groups a very supportive atmosphere where they feel they safe and can open up about what is going on for them. This group is for the Year 8 girls, so I cater it for them.
12:30 pm- The group finishes and another group of girls comes in. These are my Year 10 girls, so things are often a bit more advanced.
1:30 pm- Lunch Time!! On Tuesdays lunch, we have our student led Christian lunch time group. We meet in a classroom, share some food together (if I have had time to grab some! haha), and discuss a Bible passage together. There is a rotating roster, with a different student rostered on each week to share. I am always so encouraged by the effort that goes into these studies and we often have really deep discussions. I sometimes have to remind myself that these kids are only 15 as some of the things that come out of their mouths are so wise! We often have a few non Christian kids who come along as well. Often they just sit to the side, silently taking stuff in and sometimes they ask a really thought provoking question out of nowhere like “If God knows everything, why did he let Judas betray him??”
2:00 pm- Last period of the day. I spend this hour checking in on a few kids that I have been working with, and following up with kids that teachers have asked me to talk with. Sometimes these chats will go for a long time as something will come up and other times it is just a quick 2-3 minute conversation as I check in with them to follow up from another conversation.
3:00pm- Final bell rings! I head out the front of the school, saying goodbye to the kids as they head out, having a laugh with some of them as they wait for their buses to arrive. Once this dies down, I head back to my office, catch up on any emails, follow up anything that may have come up in conversation with students and then head out!
Thanks Elley for giving us a peak into your school day! Let’s remember to keep her in our prayers.