A few months ago, our staff had a Professional Development Day and we introduced the concept of a ‘Pineapple Chart.’ Traditionally, the pineapple was used as a gift of welcome. It was a present from one person to another in order to say, “thank you for coming, you belong here”. We asked our teachers to hang a pineapple picture on their classroom door or to sign up on a pineapple display chart to welcome another teacher into their classroom to see some of their fantastic teaching and learning. It was a gesture of warmth and trust and above all, welcome. And so, for this first blog, I would like to offer you a pineapple and say “Welcome! Thank you for coming. You belong here.”
When beginning a blog site for the first time, it is customary practice to give readers a sense of direction about the kind of site they have just reached. But even though this is my first blog for our upcoming new website, the academic year began some time ago, so instead of the traditional greeting, I would rather welcome you to get in touch and check back often.
Upcoming posts will feature any and all things that are important to our High School students. We have some fantastic teaching and learning happening at ISM and want to share it with you. There will be posts about the IB and the IGCSE and there will be entries about the teachers, students and the community. There will be links to the IBO website and updates to the latest news coming from the IB. There will even be pictures of some of the amazing things our students are doing, including activities within the school and beyond.
The idea behind a ‘welcome’ is that trust is exchanged and relationships are built. In senior years it is important for our students to know that they can trust in their mentors and teachers to steer them in the right direction. These are the years when we encourage students to find their own voice alongside a rigorous program, and it is important that they feel welcomed when asking for guidance.
If a student is finding tasks difficult, they should feel confident to make a time to check in with their teacher for extra help. We want our students to feel comfortable in their place of learning and as we provide as much support as we can.
To end my first post…
…if you are a student, ask for help.
…if you are a parent, encourage your child to become active in their learning.
…if you are a member of our community, we thank you for your support so far and look forward to working with you in the future.