(Students and Teachers celebrating together at the Grad Breakfast)
WOW! What an amazing first week we had at UAS! I have been popping in and out of classes and there is dynamic learning taking place. I have often said that trust is a pre-condition of learning and I was reminded of that by a touching story that took place this week. One of our students was having some significant anxiety about one of her classes. Sensing the student’s discomfort, our teacher came over and took the student’s hand, looked her in the eye and stayed with her until she calmed down. She was told that as long as she did her best, that’s all we can ask for. The anxious girl relaxed and her seat partner was absolutely mesmerized by the patience and calming influence that her teacher had on her friend. The awestruck girl looked at her new teacher and said “I wish you were my mom”.
A compliment like that will melt the heart of any educator. Teaching is noble work and great teachers have to be both masters of their craft and heroes to their students. So many teachers are outstanding in one of these domains but not the other. The fact is, without both of these critical components, learning is compromised. This story is an important reminder of two things. Firstly, our students have a lot of pressure on them to perform. They really want to achieve their personal best and school can be a very difficult and stressful part of their lives. The second is that a school is only as good as it’s teachers and we have wonderful teachers here at UAS. I have chosen not to name our heroic teacher in this case as I don’t want people to figure out who the anxious student was. But I do want to take a moment to celebrate the great work of some of our teachers in the first week of school.
- Ms. Williams has done a lot of work this summer organizing an overseas workshop for IB Theatre students in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Ms. Ray has worked very hard on developing a new CAS website where important learning outcomes can be celebrated.
- Mr. Ferguson recently gave an outstanding webinar on the role of assessment in Physical Education.
- Ms. Scheirer has expressed an interest in working with Student Government, helping their initiatives to become more organized and better celebrated.
- Ms. Guest has been working with the Seniors on organizing the student lounge.
So many of our teachers are doing so much for our students and for our school. This is just a small sample of what some of our teachers are doing. A rising tide raises all ships and the leadership of these educators is going to be felt across the organization. Here are some photos from the first week:
(Math students presenting in Mr. Chan’s class and collaborative learning in Ms. Ali’s class)
Community Faire on Wednesday.
Want to meet some of these amazing educators? Please come to the first annual Community Faire on Wednesday, September 7th from 4:00 to 7:00 PM in the MPH.
High School Back to School Night will take place at 6:00 on September 21st.
What are the requirements to get into HL Physics? What topics are covered in Algebra 1? Which novels will Grade 12’s be studying this year in English? While Community Faire is intended to build relationships and engagement, more specific curricular information is going to be delivered on this evening. Don’t miss out!
This year we will be triangulating our internal grades with external benchmarks. This is a KHDA mandate and is an important part of the national agenda as the UAE works to become a top 15 country in education by 2020. This will be especially felt by our Grade 10 students, who will receive a number of assessments this year. Here are some important dates:
- Sept 19 and 20 – Grade 10’s will take the CAT 4 assessment.
- Sept 25 to 30 – Grade 9’s and 10’s will take the MAP assessment.
- October 1 – 120 students from all over the UAE will participate in the SAT test.
For more information, see the attached from Ms. Gibson Cat 4 Parent letter 2016
I want to thank everyone for being so welcoming to me as I step into the huge shoes of Ms. Sebban. I was in touch with her recently and you’ll be happy to know she is having a wonderful time in her new school. As Principal I am honoured to carry on her legacy. I will have the pleasure of meeting with the Senior moms this week as we work to celebrate the class of 2017. We have been accommodating a number of course changes for students in the first week and we will be monitoring whether we need to balance out classes to ensure optimal learning can take place. We are building our After School Activities programme which will begin in early October. It’s a busy and exciting time! On to week 2… 🙂