– The ES Learning Resource Educator
“I appreciate ISKL’s value of empathy and care. It is easy to be consumed by standards, rubrics, assessments, and planning – successful teachers need to focus on these things. But first and foremost, we need to connect with our students, understand their perspectives, and support their needs. Good relationships are essential to foster an effective learning environment.”
Diane Foudy is the Elementary School (ES) 1st and 2nd Grade Learning Resource Teacher at ISKL and has been with the school for the past fourteen years. After earning her undergraduate and teaching degrees, she taught in Kuwait, Mexico, Saudia Arabia, and Oman before moving to Malaysia. After completing her service at ISKL in June, she plans to take the year off and spend quality time with family and friends.
Here is Diane’s story:
Do tell us more about yourself.
I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. After completing my undergraduate degree, I spent a year abroad, earning my teaching degree in Glasgow, Scotland. I caught the traveling bug and moved on to teach in Kuwait (where I met Brian), Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Oman before moving to Malaysia in 2009.
When and why did you join ISKL? What were your first days like?
During a visit with our friends who were teaching at ISKL, we met with Paul Chmelik, the Head of School (HOS) at the time. We told him we would love to work at ISKL someday, and a few months later, the call came – he had positions for us!
We joined ISKL in 2009 with our two daughters, who were 5 and 7 years old. I was teaching Prep Senior (PS) at the time at the old Melawati campus, and the daily drive down the busy Ulu Klang was not a relaxing start to the day! Our whole family was on the same campus at our previous school, so the girls had to get used to not seeing their dad around, which was an adjustment.
Aside from that, we were thrilled with the school and knew that KL would be our home for many years. We took the plunge and adopted a dog from the SPCA, bought a house, renovated it, and have loved living here ever since. We feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to live and work in Malaysia.
Describe your most memorable moment/s at ISKL.
After 14 years, there are so many! Our family has been very involved in athletics, so there are many special memories around games, tournaments, and coaching experiences. From exciting U11 wins as a coach, to Phuket football tournament victories, to dramatic IASAS finals, there have been many, many nail-biting, glorious performances.
I will never forget the time in 2019 when the girls and boys won IASAS gold for Touch and Rugby, with the Foudy sisters on the field together and their dad doing the live stream play-by-play. This is a very special ISKL memory for me!
What is the thing that you will miss the most about ISKL?
I work with really great people! They are so creative, fun, and passionate about educating kids. I have learned a lot collaborating with them and will truly miss the collegiality.
Can you share a saying or idea you learned or experienced at ISKL that you will carry with you always?
I appreciate ISKL’s value of empathy and care. It is easy to be consumed by standards, rubrics, assessments, and planning – successful teachers need to focus on these things. But first and foremost, we need to connect with our students, understand their perspectives, and support their needs. Good relationships are essential to foster an effective learning environment.
Do you have any advice to offer for new faculty members who are joining the community?
Get involved! There are so many opportunities at ISKL to challenge yourself personally and professionally. Sign up to coach a team, take on a leadership role, or volunteer at a school event… the choices are endless. You will meet great people, learn new skills, and feel proud of your contributions that help make this a wonderful school.
Who or what is your source of inspiration?
My students inspire me with their boundless curiosity, creativity, and enthusiasm. Their eagerness to learn and explore the world around them is infectious and motivates me to improve my teaching continually.
My students put a lot of trust in me, and I am honored to be a part of their journey as they grow and develop into confident, capable individuals. Seeing their progress and accomplishments is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job, and I am privileged to help unlock their potential and contribute to their success, even in a small way.
What are your plans once you leave ISKL?
Brian and I will be taking a year off to spend with family and friends. We look forward to watching the seasons change at our home on a lake north of Toronto. Then we will realize how cold the winter is and book flights heading south! We hope to recharge and get ready for our next adventure, wherever that may be.
Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.