After about three months as Principal at The International School, I have seen some pretty impressive things, so I thought I might offer some reflections. I have worked in schools on both coasts of the United States. I taught in high school, coached teachers in middle and elementary, and even spent some time working in a district office for a public school system. Nowhere, in all of those experiences, have I seen the same levels of teaching and learning that I have seen at TIS!
Each time I walk into a classroom at the school, I am amazed by the active engagement of the students, the facility with language (both track and native), and the persistent drumbeat of inquiry that is present. Our students are constantly creating, questioning, and collaborating—these are the highest order of thinking skills. I am so pleased that I am offered the opportunity to interact with students on a daily basis (and not just when they are in trouble with their teachers)! And, perhaps most importantly, I am so excited that I have joined a team that is so absolutely committed to reflecting, growing, and improving our practice at all levels. While I have worked with many skilled teams, at TIS I have witnessed an even higher level of commitment, passion, and desire!
Every day is not perfect; I have had some tough conversations, some long days, and some unexpected challenges. But even through these more difficult experiences, I have found my colleagues, students, and community members to be thoughtful, collaborative, and supportive. I look forward to every day of work and I welcome additional opportunities to grow as a leader, educator, and person.
Thank you for welcoming me so warmly to the TIS community. Please stop by my office on the 3rd floor of Hilltop to say, “hello”. Happy New Year! -- RY (RonY@intlschool.org, 503-851-4954)
Follow Ron on twitter (@tisronyoung) for updates on school events and perspectives on teaching and learning at TIS!