School Life
Education Blog

Embracing Summer: A Season for Growth and Independence

Weekly Update from the Director – May 24, 2024
Dear GISC Community,
 
Summer is now officially open for business with this Memorial Day, pools, ice cream shops, and various camps begin to gear up for what promises to be an endless summer.
 
My summers were bike rides from my Munich-Vorort (Munich suburb) Graefelfing-Locham to various lakes such as Starnberger See, Ammersee or the nearby Wesslinger See. My Mom used to ride many times with me and any of my five siblings, but at a certain age, she also encouraged us to go on our own. My Mom spoke to us about big words such as “Selbstständigkeit” (independence) and “Initiative” (works in both languages), but to my siblings and me, it was all about “Freiheit” (freedom).

During these bike rides, we took on different roles, occasionally pretending to be someone else (with indeed a different name) or we took some chances such as taking different routes to get to one of the lakes, and when our age became a double-digit number, we met with friends, and our identities began to take on even greater significance as we learned who we were outside our family and instead within the context of our peers. 
 
I associate summers with the bulk of my growth, specifically trying to resolve the question who I was and also who I was going to become. Spoiler alert , never once did I think during those years that I would become a teacher, let alone a principal. But summertime was the time that I associate with taking risks, some perfectly harmless and others that my mother would describe as “leichtsinnig” (careless), “unverantwortlich” (irresponsible) and the stinging “rücksichtslos” (inconsiderate).
 
It is with these memories that I wish you the best of summers. For the younger children, do indeed create family memories where the entire family goes on trips together, and for the kids whose age includes more than one digit, give them some space here and there, and if they misuse the given freedom, do not hesitate to use words such as “inconsiderate.” I am here to tell you both as a former child and a former parent of young children that summers are the seasons of experiencing growth and encouraging growth.
 
Happy summer, and yes, we still have 16 days of school, including the Spring Concert, field trips, distribution of yearbooks and year-end celebrations such as our 4th/8th grade as well as the Kindergarten graduations, our preschool Wuppi-celebrations and the International Potluck on the very last day. We are finishing a great year of learning.
 
Best,
Ben
 
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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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