The Elementary School Assemblies – St. John’s at its best!

DSCN1891Over the last two months I have attended various ES Assemblies in the PAC and I would recommend every ES parent to at least once attend one of those Assemblies, because those gatherings are a sheer joy to witness.

The Math Assembly of Mr. Motwani was a gem of teaching math in a way that made the students think and excited. Mr. Mo presented a range of math challenges on the screen that offered something for every grade, and indeed also for the parents attending. In the PYP Assembly for the 5th grade, the teachers gave an excellent introduction to the PYP and offered students and parents an opportunity to ask questions. It was great to hear through the questions that the students had been thinking seriously about the PYP. In a ‘Sharing’ Assembly, the Grade 1 students presented their work on patterns to the entire ES and parents. It was impressive to see the ease with which the first Grade students presented their accomplishments, and heart-warming to hear the enthusiastic and supportive reactions of Grades 2 to 5.

While each of these Assemblies were quite different in objective and setup, one thing that came across consistently is how eager the students are to participate and how confident they are to speak up in public. At each math question of Mr. Mo, immediately 50 or more hands went up, eagerly waving to be given the floor. The same happened in the other Assemblies.

Talking with other parents who attended the ES Assemblies, I note that we all have the same sense of gratitude to the ES staff for the way in which they have helped our children to gain such confidence, on which they can build when they move on to MS, HS and subsequent education. From my own teaching I know how extremely important it is for students at universities to feel comfortable to ask questions and make comments in a large group.

A warm thanks again to the entire ES staff, and special thanks to Johanna Bambridge for having ensured that building the students’ confidence and enthusiasm is a constant process from PK to 5th Grade.

By Piet van der Meer, father of Grace in Grade 5.