ISY Elementary Blog

Wisdom and Humility

Mike Simpson, Elementary School Principal

September 17, 2021

I have watched a lot of tennis over the last couple of weeks. The US Open finished on Sunday and both the men’s and women’s champions were not supposed to win.

Daniil Medvedev beat World Number 1 Novak Djokovic in the men’s final. That was an upset but not a complete shock as he was World Number 2 and most people expected him to be in the final.

No-one expected Emma Raducanu to be the women’s champion. No-one even expected her to be in the final. In fact, she had to win three extra games before the tournament started to be allowed to play at all! Oh, and she is only 18 years old. Before the tournament started, some ‘experts’ did not think she was strong enough to compete at this level. These ‘experts’ were basing their opinion on what happened to her at Wimbledon in July.

Raducanu is British and Wimbledon is her home Grand Slam tournament. Her home crowd was very excited that she won three matches. Unfortunately, after some particularly intense points in her fourth match, Raducanu felt dizzy and had trouble breathing. She could not get her breathing under control and, on the advice of the tournament doctor, defaulted the match to her opponent. 

Some high profile ‘experts’ thought that everyone would like to hear their ‘expert’ opinion that Raducanu just was not strong enough. Raducanu herself offered no excuses after the match and said that she thought the ‘whole experience caught up with me’ and ‘will go a long way to helping me learn what it takes to perform at the top. I will cherish everything we have achieved together this week, and come back stronger.

Given that she won the US Open without losing a single set, she obviously learned quite a lot from that Wimbledon experience. Raducanu was wise enough to apply the knowledge she gained from her Wimbledon disappointment to adapt how she prepared and played at the US Open. Importantly, she was also humble enough to know that she needed the support of her family and coaches to help her make sense of what happened at Wimbledon and adapt her game. 

I don’t think it is a coincidence that Raducanu won the US Open just a couple of months after her Wimbledon experience. I think that being supported through that difficult experience helped her develop the wisdom and humility she needed to win a Grand Slam tournament.

Now that she is a champion, some of those same ‘experts’ are wondering aloud if she is strong enough to deal with the pressure that comes with being a champion. I think that they are only doubting her strength because she is young. They are not giving Raducano credit for her wisdom and humility and she has proven that a wise and humble young person can be very, very strong.


How to Talk to Your Kids About Difficult News Reports

Students have been bringing questions to me about these challenging times, so I’m sure they are also asking parents these same questions.

Recently, I listened to a Life Kit podcast produced by National Public Radio (NPR) that featured important points for how to talk to your child about difficult news topics.  The show featured several points I felt important to share.

  1. Limit exposure to breaking news.  Although parents can’t control the news reports, they can control the devices in which children can access the news.  
  2. When your child is exposed to potentially traumatic news events, sit with them in a quiet space and ask them what they understand and what questions they have about the event.  Give them a chance to reflect and share.
  3. Provide your child with facts and context.  Often rumors or hearsay can reach your child’s ears.  Provide accurate information and context, such as showing them on a map where the events happened or explaining that generally news events are rare, that is why they are in the news.
  4. It’s okay to say “I don’t know.” As parents, we can’t know all the answers.  It’s okay to be honest about these things.  Try to avoid labeling groups or individuals as bad.  These labels are unhelpful and can increase your child’s fear or anxiety.
  5. Allow your child to express themselves through play and art.  Often children can’t process verbally, they use play and art to make sense of events around them.  
  6. Focus on the helpers and be a helper.  When scary new events happen, place focus away from the tragedy and center it on groups and individuals making a difference.  Likewise, take action yourself.  Brainstorm ways that your family can help those in need or help make the world a better place.

If you are interested in listening to the complete Life Kit podcast or reading the accompanied article, it can be reached here.

Ms. Patty is available to support ISY families and students throughout this difficult time at

Patty Amundson-Geisel

Pre-K to Grade 6 Counselor

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:

Wednesday Assembly

Every second Wednesday we have an Elementary School Assembly. These are an informal and fun way for everyone to get together and for students to share their learning.

This week, Mr. Macheski read a story full of interesting homonyms and Ms. Saunders and her Grade 3 students created a funny question game for us. Some Grade 2 P.E. students also shared some trick shots that we can all try at home. Oh, and we had a visit from Mr. Stache:

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