It’s Friday and you made it through the first week of lessons, give yourself a pat on the back! It’s been the beginning a new chapter in your life journey for many of you. You may have been a little nervous and that is natural. Some of our teachers have been a little nervous too as it may be their first time teaching in our high school. And for some teachers and students, it is their first time in this city or country. It is a new academic year, a new beginning, with so many new possibilities. I hope that during this first week you have taken it all in and been open to all that is new around you.
Many years ago now, I started my highschool journey in Australia, after moving there from having my grundskol experiences in South Africa. I was nervous. I also remember that the nervousness felt at the start of the first day slowly disappeared as I met my classmates, teachers and began to make friends, adjust to my new environment and learning environment. I have been at IEGS for 9 years this year, and I must say that I really enjoy working here. I am motivated by our students, like you, who are starting to slowly find out what path may be interesting to you and to work with you to gather skills and set goals so that you can be off to a great start on your journey. I also love our national and international staff and teachers that I get to work with in different ways in the school. Each brings their ideas, cultures, perspectives and diversity with them, to make our learning community so much richer.
During the summer, I became a little bit older, and as I was reading The Alchemist in Portugal, I was thinking about you and the responsibility that you, our IEGS learners, have before you in the not so distant future. You and your generation need to lead the way to value and care for our planet, the sustainability of our environment and our cities for generations to come. You are the innovators, you are the ones to bring about change. You need to be prepared for the known and the unknown. The pandemic brought disruption to your learning. It is important that you take the time now, at IEGS to build on your learning and gather the hard and soft skills needed so that you are part of developing a sustainable, green city, a world with reduced poverty and hunger, improved health, education, justice, equality, inclusivity and peace for all. Do not be afraid or discouraged or indifferent to these challenges. And don’t think for one minute that you cannot contribute to change.
Set your goals high and dedicate yourself to achieve them. We at the school are committed and prepared to help you on that journey academically and socially. Our goal is to support you and equip you with the skills and tools needed so that you can be a better version of yourself so that you can reach your goals that you are setting for yourself. You will be part of change for a better future. At IEGS, we encourage you to develop confidence that you can and will achieve your goals, through hard work, integrity, with willingness to take on feedback, be determined and to persevere. This is learning. As a wise green jedi once said: Do or do not, there is no try. This saying is from The Empire Strikes Back, the second of the first trilogy of Star Wars movies, aka Episode V. Yoda is saying that you should have confidence in whatever you do. He means that if you think you will fail, you will not give it your all, but instead make a halfhearted attempt. Yoda wants Luke to have confidence in what he does and to just do it, not give excuses for why he can't. So students, I urge you to, like Yoda, when you go out to achieve the goals you have set for yourself this year, give it your all, have confidence and do it. Because in doing so, you are embracing that life long journey of learning. And with education - knowledge, curiosity, creativity, and will, one can bring change to our world.
All signs so far point to a positive, incredible and productive school year. Our skilled and devoted teachers and non teachers have been planning and preparing for your return. Our enthusiastic administration team has been registering new students, ordering needed materials and updating student files. Our hard working custodians have spent the summer thoroughly cleaning desks, lockers and chairs, and painting the facility.
You have many great opportunities ahead of you this year at IEGS, I encourage that you make the most of it! Take your responsibility as an IEGS student, to contribute to creating a safe and respectful working and learning environment. SO dear students, congrats on completing your first week and I wish you a wonderful and successful school year.