ISY Elementary Blog

World Teachers Day

Mike Simpson, Elementary School Principal

October 8, 2021

Tuesday was World Teachers Day. I had not realized until a student emailed me an apple!

On World Teachers Day a few years ago, a student of mine asked me who was the first teacher and who taught them? This was such a great question and we spent quite a bit of time talking about it in our class. 

The class decided that even though there are some very famous first teachers in all cultures, they could not have been the first teachers as someone would have taught them something and someone else would have taught them something and so on and so on. A student said you don’t need to be a teacher to teach and another one said you don’t even need to be a human because animals teach animals. And then we found out that even trees teach trees

So while we know that as teachers we are not the only ones teaching, we feel fortunate to get to devote our professional lives to such an important and rewarding act. It is not the easiest time to be a teacher or student at the moment and I am very proud of how well our teachers and students continue to adapt and keep learning happening.


Building Resilience When Your Child is Anxious

Anxiety is a common emotion that all children experience at different times but if anxiety persists it can interfere with your child’s ability to make friends or engage in school.  Anxiety is one of the most common mental health concerns in children and it’s symptoms can be physical; headaches, stomachaches, sleeping troubles and emotional; fear, worry and irritability.

Often, with good intentions, people encourage children to ignore their anxiety, push it aside and carry on.  Adults say things like, “Don’t worry about that.” or “That’s not possible, why worry?”  This can, at times, lead children to unhealthy strategies for coping.  So how can we help honor our children’s anxious feelings yet encourage resilience to manage them?  Here are a few strategies.

  • Personify the emotion by giving it a name and a persona.  In doing this, your child can talk with that piece of themselves and learn that anxiety is just a characteristic of themselves, not all of who they are.  
  • Help your child assess risk.  Often anxiety overrules the brain and it is difficult for your child to properly assess the threat.  Ask your child to write out the worst and best outcome for the anxiety producing issue.  This will help your child better assess the real probability of their feared outcome.
  • Reframe thoughts: Help your child change the narrative from what is wrong with me to a celebration of self.  Instead of “I overthink too much,” encourage statements such as “I’m creative and have many ideas.”
  • Mindfulness:  Encourage your child to notice their thoughts.  Thoughts are just that and don’t have to be accepted as true.  We can allow some thoughts to pass through our minds and be released.

Anxiety is normal and should be allowed to be expressed.  In using the above strategies, you support your child to manage this emotion and build resilience.

Ms. Patty, the elementary counselor, is available to support ISY students and families.  If you are concerned about your child’s social, emotional or academic progress, please feel free to contact her at If you are interested in reading more: 7 Ways to Help with Anxiety.

Patty Amundson-Geisel

Pre-K to Grade 6 Counselor

Quarter 1 Progress Reports & Conferences

On Friday, October 29, you will receive a written Progress Report on your child(ren)’s progress at the end of Quarter 1.

This Progress Report will provide a focus for our first set of Parent-Teacher Conferences which will be held on Wednesday, November 3. More details about how to schedule a time for a conference will follow in a later blog post. There will be no classes on this day.

Internet Issues

Offline Learning Activities

Every Friday, your child’s homeroom teacher will email you a PDF of offline learning activities that your child will be able to do if they lose access to the internet. 

Please only use these plans if your child is unable to access the internet. If you have the internet, your child will be able to attend online classes as usual. 

To make sure the offline learning activities stay connected to what is happening in class, our teachers will review and, if necessary, update the offline learning activities each week. Please download the PDF document attached to the email as soon as you receive it on Friday. The email will also have a link to this instructional video:

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