School Life
Education Blog

Teacher Appreciation

Weekly Update from the Director – May 3, 2024
Dear GISC Community,
Just yesterday I observed our Preschool Teacher Frau Jordan (Schmetterlinge Group) converse with 5 of her young students in the hallway. While the children put on their shoes for recess, I was mesmerized to observe for just three minutes how these kids interacted with Frau Jordan, but maybe just a bit more amazed at how Frau Jordan communicated with the kids. In German, the conversation was about the kind of stuff that kids talk about – about grandparents, about parents, the weather, the plans for the weekend, and about playing. The kids shared freely as if they were within their own family, and Frau Jordan warmly and authentically chatted along with the youngsters. She was herself, and she most certainly engaged with her youngsters. What I observed was authentic.
Frau Jordan embodies the qualities of a GISC teacher – a teacher who genuinely interacts with the students and freely gives of herself. The kids know that their teacher cares for them, and in that security of feeling cared for, the kids, too, can be themselves. Moreover, our students realize that their teachers understand them. What happens between students and teachers represents the heart of our school.
Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and our GISC Parent Group (GPG) has planned surprises every day, and plans to make gifts to our faculty. I thank you for your support of this recognition of our teachers next week, and yet I also know that this appreciation is more than just one week long. A weekend before honoring the role of mothers on Mother’s Day, it is appropriate we take the time to honor teachers not just here at GISC, but everywhere. If you feel so inclined, spend some time this weekend with your children and ask them to write a letter or make a drawing for their teachers, while you maybe also write a note to one of your former teachers. I promise you that would be time well spent.
On that note, I want to thank our GISC faculty for our authentic care and commitment to our students. "Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher," said Parker Palmer, author of The Courage To Teach, a book I read just as I was starting my career in schools. It helped me understand early on that relationships between teachers and kids trump everything.
All the best,
The German International School Chicago (GISC) is an IB World School that prepares students to become well-rounded, creative, and responsible global citizens. We provide students with a rigorous German-English bilingual education in a supportive and individualized learning environment. GISC graduates will be prepared academically and socially to succeed in an increasingly global world.

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