ISY Elementary Blog
Childish Wisdom
Mike Simpson, Elementary School Principal
November 13, 2020
A month or so ago I wrote about how Winnie the Pooh is basically a Taoist master and an excellent role model for these uncertain times. 

The Te of Piglet is a book from the same author as The Tao of Pooh. I’m still very new to Taoism but according to the author, ‘Piglet demonstrates a very important principle of Taoism: the Te – a Chinese word meaning Virtue – of the Small.’

The author writes:

Is the adult wiser than the child? On the individual level, of course, that depends on which adult and which child. But beyond that, wisdom is to the Taoist a child’s state. Children are born with it; most adults have lost it, or a good deal of it. And those who haven’t, are in one way or another, like children.’

As teachers, we are constantly reminded of the wisdom of children. I do not have a class of my own but I do faciliate two After School Activities (ASA). 

One ASA is a group of elementary students who I pose philosophical questions too after reading stories from the Odyssey. Here are some example of the wisdom of children from that ASA:

Me: ‘Do you think Helen of Troy was the most beautiful woman in the world?’

Child: ‘Beauty is an opinion and if it is an opinion you can’t judge it.’

Me: ‘Do you think it would be good to be happy all of the time?’

Child: ‘How do you even know you are happy if you are not sad sometimes?’

Both of these answers are examples of critical thinking at its very best. 

Critical Thinking, along with Compassion, Collaboration, Communication, Courage, Creativity, and Reflection, is an ISY Learner Attribute that we strive to nurture in all that we do. In nurturing these attributes in our children, we need to preserve the wisdom that they already have as we expose them to new perspectives and key academic concepts and skills. 

I really hope that every child who leaves ISY retains their childish wisdom. Childish wisdom mixed with some ‘grown up’ expertise and experience will go a long way in finding the answers to many of the problems that our children will need to solve.

Hoff, Benjamin, and Ernest H. Shepard. The Tao of Pooh. Methuen, 1989.

Hoff, Benjamin, and Ernest H. Shepard. The Te of Piglet. Egmont, 2003.

Would you like to make a difference in a child’s life and have fun at the same time?

The Sports-A-Thon is an annual fundraising event for the UWS-ISY Wan Kaung School partnership.  As many of you know, ISY has partnered with United World Schools (UWS) to sponsor the building of and maintaining a school in Northern Myanmar.  This sponsorship allows the school to maintain a proper teaching staff and supplies students with resources to be successful.  If you are interested in learning more about this amazing program, check out the ISY website.

This year’s event will be held virtually on Saturday, December 12 from 9:00-11:00 AM.

How can you participate?

  1. Join a zoom meeting on December 12th, engage in and sponsor your son/daughter in a physical activity (or join several) and make a donation!  


  1. Video your family member(s) engaging in a physical activity prior to December 12th, submit the video to be included in the day’s celebration and make a donation!

How else can you support the UWS Wan Kaung School?  

  1. Sponsor a Student.  A monthly or one-time donation will enable a child to attend the school.

  2. Purchase an ISY mask through the school store.  All profits go directly to the Wan Kaung School.

Each year, ISY is committed to raising at least $10,000.  Please consider making your donation today!


Giving Thanks

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a difficult year.  Even the most positive people use words such as challenging, unprecedented, disappointing to describe this crazy mixed up calendar year.  Having said that, taking a moment to give thanks and honor gratitude can be a powerful thing.  Gratitude focuses us on what we have rather than what we lack.  It is a way to appreciate instead of reaching out for something or someone in the hope that it can provide more or satisfy our every need. 

In our darkest times, it is easy to describe 2020 as horrible, disastrous or dreadful (perhaps a few others?) but when we acknowledge the small gifts in our lives, it is hard to remain dark.  In fact, gratitude, when practiced regularly, can improve our physical and emotional health.  Can’t we all use a little of that?  So consider a daily gratitude, write in a journal or say thank you to one person each day.  You might be surprised how it can redefine your year.

Warmly, Ms. Patty

Virtual Recess is still running from 1:00-1:30 PM.  Students should use the All Grade Specialist Link to join on their assigned day.  All activities will be student driven but will include fun and games.

Grades 4 & 5: Tuesday
Grade 3: Wednesday
Grade 2: Thursday
Grade 1: Friday


We have had a fun week dressing up and showing our ISY Chinthe Spirit. You can see some photos of what we got up to this week on our ISY website’s Social Media page.


Thursday, November 19 will be dedicated to Parent Teacher Conferences. There will be no classes on this day for students.

It is our goal that you will leave your Parent Teacher Conference with a fair and accurate picture of where your child is at this time of the year, what we are doing to support your child and how you might be able to support them too in partnership with your child’s teachers.

Instructions are provided below for you to schedule online meetings with any teacher you would like to meet with. Homeroom teacher meetings are scheduled for 15 minutes. Specialist teacher meetings are scheduled for 8 minutes as they teach students from many different classes.

Please click on this link for Parent Teacher Conference Sign Up Instructions

If you would like a translator for your conference, please email the teacher who you are meeting with.

Our Chinthe Learning Online (CLO) teachers will not use this sign up system. They will instead reach out to CLO families directly to offer a time to meet.


QUARTER 1 PROGRESS REPORTS: Now Available on Powerschool

Instructions for accessing your child’s Quarter 1 Progress Report:

Accessing PowerSchool:

  • Click the following link to access PowerSchool
  • Enter your username
  • Enter your password
  • Click on the login button

If you have forgotten your username and/or password, please email for assistance.

Accessing your child’s report:

  • Once you log in, you will see your child/children’s name on the left-hand side top of the screen along with the information of the student schedule. 
  • Click on your child’s name 
  • Click on the “Document” icon on the left side of the screen
  • Student Documents box will appear on the screen
  • Click on the file name “Q1 Progress Report 20-21.”

 If you have difficulty accessing your child’s report, please know that you can contact the Elementary School office by email ( for assistance.


Did you know that Mr. Zar Li, our head security officer, was a former Mr. Myanmar! He is very fit and knows 100s of different exercises to stay fit.

Mr. Zar Li has kindly offered to run 15 minute work outs for our students that will start at 8:10am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. These work outs will start next Monday. The Zoom link for the workouts will be on the Friday Family Report email that you receive from your child(ren)’s teacher. All ages are welcome and parents are welcome to join in too.

The workouts will finish at 8:25am to give students time to get a drink and get organized before joining their classes at 8:30am.

These workouts do not replace regular P.E. classese during the school day. 

ONLINE LEARNING TIP: How was school today?

It can be difficult at the best of times to get our children to talk about their school day. But it is important to understand how they are experiencing learning online so we can support and motivate them. Each Friday for the next few weeks, we will post some different questions that might help your child open up about their experience online. Here are this week’s questions:

  1. Did you learn any new words today?
  2. What do you hope to do before school is out for the year?
  3. If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
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