ISR Teachers: Inspiring Our Students to Reach Their Full Potential
“One does not measure success merely by the number of medals or certificates one acquires. Rather success is measured by the individual triumphs experienced each day by our students in any given subject when they master a concept or learn a new skill. When a child grasps a concept in math, in science or in language or demonstrates the acquisition of a new skill in music, in art or in sport, we are achieving our goals as educators—aiding our students to reach their full potential.
When a student overcomes personal difficulties and experiences success, our own sense of purpose and mission is reinforced.”
Ms. Lyons, ISR School Director
The best way to explain how dedicated and inspiring ISR teachers are making a difference, is through the eyes of the students. Read about students who were inspired and supported by our teachers to overcome obstacles and reach their potential.
Student Success Stories
Going from having major challenges in his English classes to winning a Gold Medal in Reading!
With a lot of positive reinforcement, Max’s teachers helped him realize his own value and assured him that he could attain his goal.
Max joined ISR in Grade 1 in 2009–10. After learning the basics that first year, Max started facing some major challenges in his English classes. He was unable to read an entire passage continuously and understand it. His vocabulary was very limited. He realized that all of his friends were going into English Regular (English for native speakers), and so achieving English Regular became his goal.
The immediate feedback and success in ISR’s Accelerated Reader program was one aspect that helped boost Max’s confidence and commitment to his goal of joining English Regular. During the last 15 weeks of school, Max read together with Mrs. Sprague during Library hour and continued on his own and with his parents after school. With this effort, he advanced 15 reading levels and earned a gold medal in reading! With a lot of positive reinforcement, Max’s teachers helped him realize his own value and assured him that he could attain his goal. And, he did! “We couldn’t have done it without the constant support of his parents and the mirroring at home [of the efforts being made at ISR],” said Mrs. Sprague.
By academic year 2011–12, Max was placed in English Regular with English booster classes. His motivation didn’t stop there – he was determined to get out of English boosters. Max succeeded in that, too. “Now, he’s reading stories and longer passages with more complex vocabulary. He’s a reminder of how important our roles as teachers are,” said Ms. Kovacs.
Going from struggling in Math & German to experiencing a life changing moment inspired by the SABIS® system
“ISR helps you for your future. You get more support from your teachers and a lot more personal attention.”
Robert joined ISR in G4 in 2006–07. He struggled in math and German when he arrived. Before joining ISR, Robert was not encouraged to ask questions in class and had been criticized often. As a result, he was hesitant in seeking help from others. “The teachers at ISR support me inside class and outside class. Now I know that they are there to help me and encourage me to succeed,” said Robert. He continued, “Before I used to just read the pages. Now, I try to understand them more and ask more questions.” The SABIS® approach has motivated Robert to study more and he attributes this to his success.
Additionally, the SABIS® Leadership Training Camp in Bath in August 2011 was a life-changing moment for Robert. He gained more self-confidence which he feels was a personality change for him. This year, Robert was the Senior Prefect for attendance in activities. Next year, he will be the Deputy Head of Sports. He wants to study Bio Chemistry when he graduates or find a study where he can learn game creation or how to program computer simulation. When asked what he would change about ISR, Robert responded, “I wouldn’t change anything! ISR helps you for your future. You get more support from your teachers and a lot more personal attention.”
Going from speaking no English and German to being integrated and engaged in learning
“ISR teachers are compassionate, open-minded, and understanding. Because of that, I succeed more at Math here than I ever did in Taiwan.”
Cecilia started at ISR in the middle of Grade 9 in February 2011. She arrived from Taiwan speaking very little English and no German at all. One year later, she had learned enough of both languages to communicate but admits that it was difficult at first to integrate. “My classmates at ISR have been a huge help because they explain things and encourage me to speak,” said Cecilia.
Cecilia often spends time looking through her dictionary to expand her vocabulary. Although she finds math easy, learning math and science in the English language was a challenge but also a plus as it is Cecilia’s dream to study either Economics or Engineering in the UK. Her friends, Ana and Svenja, are also eager to help explain Math and Science vocabulary whenever they can.
“Choosing this [learning] environment offers a good opportunity to learn. ISR teachers are compassionate, open-minded, and understanding. Because of that, I succeed more at Math here than I ever did in Taiwan. The method of teaching at ISR is good because it encourages students to improve.” Cecilia continued, “I’m given the responsibility of learning. I’m engaged in the learning. It’s not just a bunch of memorization; I actually understand the method behind it now.”
Going from a system that failed him to a positive system at ISR
“The greatest impact [on my education] for me here at ISR is the classroom… There are good role models here and it is a positive atmosphere for learning.”
Charles-Henri joined ISR in Grade 6 in January 2008. He had not been happy at his previous school because, “they were only doing surface work [with the curriculum] and nothing in depth,” said Charles-Henri. In addition, “I wasn’t learning, and the material wasn’t being taught well.” The system was failing him, not him failing the system. So, Charles-Henri had asked his parents for help.
“The greatest impact [on my education] for me here at ISR is the classroom,” said Charles-Henri. “We all want to learn. There are good role models here, and it is a positive atmosphere for learning.”
Charles-Henri had experienced challenges with reading and writing because of a problem with one of his eyes. The problem was surgically corrected and because of the consistent support offered at ISR, Charles-Henri continued to be motivated. He attributes his success to joining a setting where he was no longer being criticized for academic shortcomings. Looking forward, Charles-Henri wants to study aeronautics at Aachen University. He also hopes, he says tongue-in-cheek, “to be wiser one day!”