“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Students at ISZL chose “iconic” as the theme for the High School version of the 2017-18 yearbook, and it is a most fitting choice when reflecting on my first year and my learning about the school at not only the High School but also the Middle and Primary Schools. A prevailing sentiment that has emerged from student comments is that ISZL represents much more than just a school. It is, in fact, the shared experiences with special people that make ISZL such an extraordinary place.
The words from the “iconic” book, The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, may best explain these sentiments: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” These words are apropos to ISZL’s context in the sense that the school may only be fully understood by looking beyond what is readily visible. While you cannot necessarily see the sense of belonging, the supportive environment, and the feeling of safety when first visiting the campus, there is a palpable awareness of their presence. The same is true about the optimism, positive energy, and sense of promise. There is a discernible feeling on campus that anything is possible, the future is bright, and there is an opportunity to be part of something special while contributing to making a positive difference.
There is a serious and disciplined commitment to academic learning but also a sense of enjoyment and play. Students and teachers move with purpose during their free time as they prepare to engage with the seemingly endless list of activities, clubs, charities, trips, and sports that exemplify the ISZL learning experience. There is an appreciation that the culture of learning is a ubiquitous presence on campus.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we can see that relationships are the foundation of what makes ISZL special. What is not necessarily easy to see is how profound and respectful the relationships between staff, students, and parents are at the school, and how this commitment to others represents the fundamental factor that contributes to making ISZL and schools in general such special places.
- Barry Dequanne