Dear Parents and Students
Ramadan Mubarak to all of those that will be celebrating the Holy Month of Ramadan later this week. I hope you and your families enjoy this special time with one another.
Thank you to the parents that turned up for our information session on Tuesday morning. The meeting allowed for feedback and gave us the opportunity to provide updates that we are planning to our curriculum for next academic year and beyond. I will write about these in more detail in next week’s newsletter. Tuesday also marked a special day for my family, as it was my sister’s graduation.
It is Mother’s Day in North America today (yesterday as you read this) and following last week’s Secondary School assembly, which focused on ‘work hard’, I would like to pay tribute to my sister, Christa, where she was recognised for all her tremendous efforts last week. After struggling in high school, Christa worked the midnight shift, full-time at a donut shop in what was, and still is, the ‘dodgiest’ part of Windsor, our home town in Canada. She had been convinced by her teachers that she wasn’t ‘academic’ and maybe if she were lucky, she could be successful outside of school if she landed a job at a factory.
After a year or so of seeing drug addicts, alcoholics and homeless people come into the donut shop at all hours of the night, she decided that she should go back to school. She went to college to study to become a Developmental Service Worker and in the process upgraded some of her high school science credits as well. She managed to complete this qualification whilst working and selling corn on the side of the road to earn some additional money.
After a short while, she realised this was not her calling and decided to go back to college again and train to become a Nurse. This was followed by writing licensure exams in both Canada and the USA. She spent most of the next twenty years working in Detroit and in Phoenix where she currently resides.
During this time, she went to university whilst working full time and completed her undergraduate degree, which made her eligible to register for a doctorate programme. As a single mother of two, she managed to work full-time and complete her Doctorate of Nursing Practice and is now a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
I write this not as a proud brother, which I am, but as what I hope will serve as a message about the importance of working hard and lifelong learning. I watched a programme earlier today with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, who highlighted how people need to be prepared to retrain to be successful throughout their working lives. Christa is now 50 years old and looking forward to the next chapter of her life in her new career, which brings me to the importance of educators in shaping young learners’ lives:
“My priorities as a Head are to enable the school to be in control of its teaching and learning environment ..to raise the self-esteem of pupils and to create learners who will take on the world
(or feel they can).”
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mums in the NAISAK community!