As we start our Khmer New Year break, I can’t help but reflect on how different this is to previous years at Northbridge International School Cambodia. I remember the traditional Khmer New Year games we have played, the performance from the Khmer New Year dancers, and the delicious snacks our parent group have provided for us in the past. Things are very different this year, but there is still much to celebrate and be grateful for.
Resilience is like a muscle - it only grows when put under difficult circumstances. The global challenges that COVID 19 have placed on us all, have given us a chance to develop resilience and discover that we are far stronger than we realise.
I have seen this in the way that our teachers have responded to the new direction their teaching has needed to take, and in the way our students have responded to needing to take greater responsibility for their own learning.
I have also seen it in the way that our parent community have partnered with us and in the learning moments that have been sent in to us where we see children and family members engaged in learning activities together.
Learning Beyond the Classroom Walls
I have been privileged to see a wide range of student and teacher interactions during the last three weeks. I have been so impressed with the work that has been submitted to teachers from students who are actively learning at home - even from our youngest learners.
In Early Learning we have children planting seeds after watching a video from the EL4 teachers, we have students sending in pictures of themselves following an Exercise Adventure workout featuring Mr Brandon, we have writing samples being peer-reviewed, video presentations being sent in, conference calls allowing students to present their work to each other and musical recitals which we as teachers have really enjoyed viewing.
In all these things, we see children learning at home, and are impressed by the commitment they have shown to continue to grow and develop. My hope is that this belief in their own ability to learn outside of school will continue to grow and become part of who they are as people so that we really do help nurture lifelong learners.
An Increase in Understanding the Value of Connection
During this time, there is one desire that has been expressed from parents, students and teachers - the desire to connect with each other. As we have needed to isolate ourselves from each other physically, we have all gained a deeper understanding of the way in which we as humans need connection. We need community. We need each other.
This truth is one that is expressed in our aide-memoire: 'Caring Hearts, Ambitious Minds'. All of us have realised the need to connect with both our hearts and minds and my hope is that our students will understand the value of the relationships they have - with their families, friends, and teachers - and that when we do come back together, we will cherish these relationships and continue to positively build them every day.
I am so thankful for each one of you and am so grateful to be part of this amazing Northbridge community. I wish all of you a Khmer New Year break that is full of memorable moments with your families and look forward to the day when we welcome you back on site.