~ Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher
Like every school across the world, Esol Education school communities have experienced a sea change over the past year, with both temporary and long-term disruptions to the ebb and flow of normal school life. While resilience in the classroom has long centered on learning from failure and persevering to learn new concepts, this historic year has been a true test of resilience as a critical life skill for our students, teachers, parents and leaders. Still, we are proud to say that the 2020-2021 school year has brought with it some wins, expected and unexpected, within and beyond classroom walls.
We have proudly witnessed our schools’ impressive mobilization of home learning programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, swiftly adjusting to rapidly changing regulations in each of our host cities. Teachers have worked tirelessly to upskill themselves with new technologies and create engaging and relevant lessons. This has given rise to exciting innovations in teaching and learning, many excellent examples of which are shared in The Brief section of this issue, which covers news from our schools around the globe.
Our cover story highlights the inaugural year of Esol Education’s American School of Bahrain, which opened the gates to its 17-acre state-of-the-art campus in Riffa on schedule, in September 2020. Staying in Bahrain, STRIDES’ One-to-One section features a discussion with Dean Joyce Feucht Haviar of California State University, Northridge (CSUN), on the heels of Esol’s recently announced role in the American University of Bahrain (AUBH) and in the university’s educational partnership with CSUN.
Our In-Class features showcase some of the remarkable learning happening within classrooms at Fairgreen International School in Dubai and The American International School in Cyprus, while our High Flyers section spotlights our best and brightest students already making their mark upon the world around them. Elsewhere in this edition of STRIDES, Gamification of Learning takes center stage as Dr. Joseph Nettikaden, Esol Education CIO, shares insights on this rising phenomenon and its implications on teaching and learning in the years ahead. We also meet with Mr. Patrick Rich, Director at American International School in Abu Dhabi (AISA), who shares reflections on his journey thus far and his aspirations for the AISA community.
Since travel is off the cards this year for most of us, join us in an armchair exploration off the beaten trail in Cyprus, as we uncover a treasure of Byzantine art nestled within humble village churches in the central mountains of the island. Lastly, Dr. Kapono Ciotti, Director at American International School in Egypt – Main Campus, analyzes ways in which we can use the disruption caused by the pandemic to accelerate innovation in education.
Thank you for being part of the Esol Education community! We wish you all a successful year ahead!
The Esol Education Team