Since the launching of I.S.ALKOURA2020 in April 2017, we have put technologies in place to achieve our vision regarding the shifts taking place in education worldwide (pre-COVID-19). Gradually, we gave access to ALMA, our LMS (the Learning Management System first to teachers, then students, and in Sept. 2019 to parents). We began using G-Suite for education applications and created emails for all our students. These tools, and the steps we had taken, were quintessential for online learning during this quarantine.
The last two months have been a wonderful exercise to implement our vision as announced in our I.S.ALKOURA2020 campaign. The shift from traditional to online teaching/learning was almost seamless as the tools were within everyone’s reach. For all our teachers, it was an amazing work in progress as they developed and honed their teaching experiences to meet the 21st century success skills. They modeled our ultimate goal as a school. They used the already available tools to improve collaboration, creativity, communication, critical-thinking and building character. The responsibility towards our students and our commitment to their learning did not change because of circumstances. We just shifted the paradigm. Teachers have truly embodied the school mission, which we revisit together today:
At I.S., we collaborate to link learning to life in order to develop in our students a mindset of responsibility, courage, empathy, tolerance, self-control and integrity.
We guide our students to be independent, self-sufficient, and well-rounded critical thinkers capable of taking initiative and solving real-life problems.
Finishing the curriculum is not the only true measure for a successful school year, although we are committed to doing so in one way or another. We are teachers. We will meet our students where they are in the curriculum when we eventually go back to school, and we WILL move them forward. That is our work. That is what we do. In past communications, I highlighted the importance of making connections rather than just finishing pages in a book. I believe that we have all learned more than a textbook can teach. We learned the life skills that make up the I.S.ALKOURA2020 campaign (about the role of technology in the classroom, the true worth of teaching through project based learning (PBL), and the meaning and context of I.S. core values.) I cannot be prouder of the I.S. community.
One of the beautiful perks of online teaching that is much in keeping with I.S. open door policy, is the ability to communicate with all or any of the people who work with your children easily, freely, and professionally. A virtual weekly (even daily) connection is possible with a click of a button.
Keep safe, keep sane, and above all… keep the faith.