So last week I was curious and asked a group of my former Grade 2 students to write down what they remember about their time in my grade 2 classroom. Then on the last day of school, much to my surprise, as I came back to my classroom I noticed a small pile of letters on my desk. Some students had replied. As I read over their notes, not one mentioned anything about remembering a new math strategy or how they became better readers, writers, and inquirers. What they all did mention was the friends they made and the fun memories they had. Which is great – and the way that it should be.

As for me – my memories at ICS start when I was a grade 4 student. My teacher was Mrs. Sherman. One of the largest and most positive influences in my life. Looking back I too don’t remember anything “curriculum” related that I learned from Ms. Sherman. What I do remember is all the small moments where she was so caring, kind, and considerate. We stayed in touch over the years and when I was in university taking final exams she would send me boxes of home-made chocolate chip cookies by courier to encourage me to do my best. That I do remember!

I also remember eating lunch with an eye towards the sky looking out for kites (hawks) swooping down to rip the sandwich from my hands. I remember trading my German leberwuerst sandwich for my friend’s sushi (yes we could trade and share lunches in those days!) I remember the high-schoolers smoking on campus behind the library. I remember the samosa’s for sale at the snack bar – back when the snack bar was a hole in the wall at the bottom of the water tower. I remember the medieval castle model I built in sixth grade when my classroom was what is now the new cafeteria. I remember the Biology lab classes in what is now the new MS building. I remember having lunch with teachers at their homes back when ICS had teacher housing on campus.

And fast forward many years later, I also remember that when I decided to become a teacher I spoke to Mrs. Sherman about my decision and her final words of encouragement to me were – “I know you will inspire others I have inspired you.” As another school year draws to a close at ICS, I know that all the teachers have inspired their students in some way – though the students might not think so now or realize it just yet. Thank you teachers for all that you do every day, thank you students for being all that you are and for making the ICS community the special place that it is, and finally thank you ICS for all the wonderful memories through the years.

And finally, as I move on with my life and “graduate” from ICS (as a teacher this time) I will always remember how ICS is more than just a school – it is a community of young and old from all over the world and all walks of life – all calling ICS their “home away from home” for two or three years … or sometimes thirty 😉 Thank you ICS and farewell.