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Our Civic Responsibilities
By Barry Dequanne, Director

One of the many things I appreciate and admire about Switzerland is the collective commitment to civic responsibility. The pragmatic Swiss approach to the establishment of community norms in combination with both individual and societal belief in supporting and adhering to these agreements have resulted in a country that runs incredibly well.

ISZL's commitment to these ideals was evident during last week's road safety training. Our Kindergarten students had the opportunity to learn from a local police officer about traffic rules and, more precisely, how to navigate pedestrian crossings. The fact that young children in Switzerland take public transportation and make their way to school unaccompanied by an adult does not happen by accident. The effectiveness in which the local police partner with schools to educate young children about their civic responsibilities is clearly by design.

The police officer not only demonstrated the highest level of professionalism but was also a talented teacher. The traffic safety lesson was conducted in partnership with ISZL's teachers, involved differentiated and personalise instruction, focused on building relationships, and provided students with an opportunity to develop their German language skills. The resulting demonstration of learning involved each student individually stopping traffic with a hand wave, looking both ways to ensure their safety, and then crossing the street at the designated crosswalk. Of course, the students were also encouraged to give a wave of thanks as they passed in front of the cars. For those students who were initially reluctant to cross the road, the police officer and teachers gently developed in the students the understanding, skills, and confidence such that all students were comfortable with crossing the street. This was impressive teaching at every level!

ISZL's vision is to help every student turn learning into action, creating opportunities for students to stretch themselves further and achieve more than they believe possible. The realisation of this vision will look different at every level of the school. At the Kindergarten level, our students were able to turn their learning into something they may not have thought possible - to cross a busy street alone.

Thank you to ISZL's teachers and the Zuger Polizei for their important work to ensure our students continue to learn about their civic responsibilities and turn their learning to responsible action.

  • Early Years
  • German Learning
  • Kindergarten
  • Local Connections
  • Primary School
  • Teaching

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