I am looking forward to the fall of 2019 with great excitement, as I become the Primary School Principal for the International School of Debrecen. As an educator with 22 years of international experience, I have worked as a teacher and learning leader in Japan, the USA, Kuwait, Canada and Switzerland. I also work with the Council of International Schools (CIS) as a lead evaluator and this has given me a great opportunity to meet students and educators around the world in every learning situation you can think of.
It is through these experiences that I have developed a strong understanding of how students learn and develop to become successful, globally minded adults.
Education is changing rapidly. The children in our classrooms need to be prepared for jobs that might not yet exist, using technology that will be obsolete by the time they join the workforce. So how do we prepare students for this uncertainty?
We need to support them in becoming problem solvers, applying critical, creative and strategic thinking skills. They need to work collaboratively, easily build relationships with others and be flexible, clear and attentive in their communication. Students need to understand the importance of being global citizens with an open mind-set. They need to work in teams, to support, to lead, to collaborate.
This is a big task and each and every school day supports students along their journey. While there are many aspects of education that help support student learning, I strongly believe that two key educational components are inquiry-based learning and a strong community.
I believe that students learn best when they are engaged in their learning. Students need to be encouraged to inquire into the world around them and find answers themselves with the guidance of their teachers. This can be done as a class with specific topics, in small groups or as individual inquiries of personal interest. Inquiries can happen in math, science, history, literacy, physical
education, music, art and so much more. For students to inquire successfully they need both knowledge and skills. That means, amongst other skills, they need to be able to read and interpret information, write and record their thinking and apply mathematical knowledge, concepts and ideas.
This type of learning does not happen in isolation. We need to work together to achieve this. Students, teachers, administrators, parents and our community need to play a role in a child’s education so students can achieve their full potential.
And this is what I’m looking forward to, to the time when the ISD community comes together to create an environment of learning and engagement for all our students.