The Benefits of Perspective
Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Look through someone else’s eyes. However we express the concept, viewing and experiencing the world from the perspective of others is an essential part of our mindset at ISKL, fundamental to our culture, and how we teach and learn.
As our Elementary students experienced this week, looking at the world through a different lens can be a fun and enriching experience. Our Hari Raya and Malaysia Day celebrations gave students, whether from Malaysia or one of the other 58 nationalities represented in ES, the chance to both share and explore Malaysian customs through dress, dance, and hands-on activities. From learning how to weave ketupat wrappers (triangular rice cakes) out of coconut leaves to coloring Islamic designs, students benefited from a greater appreciation for Malaysian culture and the nurturing of a mindset based on respect and care.
Seeing a situation from a different perspective can help us investigate the world and give us fresh insights. As was the case last week for our HS French Language Arts students when Mr Marc Vergara, Chief of Communications at United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Malaysia shared his real-life experience as a UN radio producer based in Kigali just after the Rwandan genocide. Conducted entirely in French, his presentation and the ensuing question and answer session not only gave our students an amazing opportunity to practice their listening and speaking skills but also a fresh perspective and understanding of a text about the genocide they are currently studying.
Listening to the perspective of others can also lead to a deeper shared understanding. I had the pleasure of catching up yesterday with some of our parents who joined me for the first of our monthly optional conversations.
We exchanged ideas and feedback about a variety of topics and it was rewarding to hear from our parents how much they value the transparency and two-way communication that is integral to the way we do things at ISKL. By listening to each’s perspective, we undoubtedly create a better and stronger school and community.
Next month we are looking forward to seeing our parents on campus for another important channel for understanding each other’s perspective – our Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTCs). These are important forums for students, parents, and teachers to discuss learning and progress, and to create a shared understanding of the learning journey ahead. For our families located overseas, your child/ren’s teacher/s will be in contact with you after the PTC’s to arrange a mutually convenient time to connect.
These examples highlight just a few of the many interactions that take place every day at ISKL that help each of us all recognize our own perspectives and those of others with empathy and respect. Whether they result in a change in viewpoint, help us find a creative solution or simply give us a better understanding, collectively they contribute to our growth and development, help us celebrate our diversity, and ultimately contribute to shaping our world for the better.
Head of School