ISY Elementary Blog
What are we doing? Why are we doing it? How are we doing it?
Mike Simpson, Elementary School Principal
21 August, 2020
It has been wonderful to see our High School students on campus and our Elementary School students online this week. There were a lot of ups and downs before we got to this point and the school calendar (revised to begin on August 31 without any loss of teaching days) has not even officially started yet!
The answers to three simple questions will help us navigate the challenges that we will face this year. They certainly helped us adapt to circumstances beyond our control to make the most out of this week and the next. I will use this as an example to explain ‘What? Why? How?’ thinking at ISY.
What do we need to do?
We need to use the ISY Learner Attributes to create connections and build communities.
We are committed, this year more than ever, to ensuring that every one of our students feels that their culture, identity, perspective, and experience is valued in our compassionate learning communities.
That commitment started with our first Classroom Zoom Meetings this week and will continue online into next week as we explore what the ISY Learner Attributes mean and how they can help us to create connections and build community in our classrooms. Our Chinthe Online Learning students have also been connecting online around introductory lessons designed to develop an understanding of the ISY Learner Attributes – particularly compassion.
Why do we need to do it?
Our community trusts us to develop compassionate global citizens, lifelong learners, and agents for positive change.
In some way, this is the reason behind every decision that is made in our school. Our Mission and Vision provides us with a clear purpose and creating connections and building community in our classrooms is a key part of fulfilling our Mission and Vision for every ISY student.
Our faculty were very clear in what we were doing and why we were doing it this week because we all came together to address these questions during faculty orientation last week.
How can we do it?
That will always depend on the circumstances that we need to adapt to.
Last week, during orientation, we were hopeful that our campus would have been open for all of our students and we were planning accordingly. When it became obvious that this was not possible, the what did not change, the why did not change, but the how had to change – we needed to change how we were going to use the ISY Learner Attributes to create connections and build communities in classrooms online. We were able to work together to change how we were going to do this because we all knew what we needed to do and why we needed to do it.
Our Adaptive Learning Plan is an excellent example of ‘What? Why? How?’ thinking. As soon as we knew we were going to be challenged by COVID-19, it was clear what we needed to do and why we needed to do it. But it also became clear that the scientific and social understanding of the local and global impact of the virus was changing at a rate that made it very difficult to plan how we might have to do something in the future. How we might have planned to do something on Tuesday would need to change on Wednesday as we learned more about the virus. That is why it is called our Adaptive Learning Plan.
It is called our Adaptive Learning Plan because we need to constantly adapt to new understandings and challenges around the virus and change how we do things to continue to best keep our community safe and keep our students learning. We were able to adapt this week because we knew what we had to do and why we needed to do it.
Throughout the year, we will need to adapt how we do what we need to do to develop compassionate global citizens, lifelong learners, and agents for positive change. But because we are clear in our purpose as a faculty, this challenge excites us. If necessity is truly the mother of invention, truly great things will come out of this year in our Elementary School.
Previous Elementary School Posts
I hope this finds you all well after navigating another week that I am sure had a few twists and turns. This week, I have written about how Winnie the Pooh might provide us with some guidance in dealing with these uncertain times.
I have been thinking a lot about connection lately and how it important it is for all of us to feel connected to something bigger than themselves – like ISY
At the end of our second week of the academic year, we feel that our students are getting into the swing of things online.
It feels good to have finished our first week online. There is a real positive energy around campus. That energy comes through online from our students and our teachers are building on that as they implement our planning and adapt it to meet our students needs and keep them engaged.
In our compassionate community, children, parents and teachers are able to receive and provide feedback and advice from each other knowing that the feedback and advice is given with the positive intention of helping each other.
Read about the new Elementary School Principal, Mr. Simpson’s philosophy of education.
The International School Yangon
20 Shwe Taungyar Street
+95 1 512 793 /94 /95