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Always raising the bar

EMIS opening speech (August 2016)

Dear students,

Like a good teacher I will start with a Quote:

"Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for and no religion, too". Imagine all the people living life in peace".

I believe you may have already heard and read those words, written by Jhon lenon. I see them every day when I enter our school and always the same question pops to my mind "should we"?

Should we imagine there are no countries? No religion? No nationalities maybe? Should we imagine a world where people have nothing to kill or die for? Well, imaging is never harmful, but if we imagine it, should we act to achieve it? Is this the path towards peace? Should we make our identities distinct or indistinct in order to make peace? "Should we all be as one?"

I'm not going to answer any of those questions, mostly because I do not have answers, but also because I want you to think of them. I do not want you to take any words or ideas, even if they are written on the wall, as absolute truths or ultimate solutions. Think. Wonder.

We are all, teachers and students, highly privileged to been given the opportunity to be part of the unique community of EMIS. We have the luxury of having the facility and the time to learn, to think, to ask questions and to create new ideas in order to influence the world we live in. Personally, I can testify that for me it is a fulfillment of a dream, to use education for the benefit of our surrounding, to make education a force for peace and sustainability, yes. Hence I can promise you I will do all in my power, step by step, day by day, in order to make this dream a reality, to make our school a place of thinkers and makers who don’t take realty as a fixed situation and believe in their ability to change it for the better.

I would like to share with you a metaphor that goes with me more than a decade and always helps me describes some basic elements of my educational approach.

In this picture- You are the jumper.

We are here, in this picture, for three things:

1. To set up suitable challenges and boundaries for you- Always raising the bar.

2. To equip (give) you with the right tools and knowledge in order to succeed.

3. To support you when you will fall (and when you aim high, you do fall from time to time).

We will offer you challenges, we will offer you our knowledge and experience, and we will offer you our help when needed, please take them, take them and jump, jump as high as you can.

Good luck and let us all have a great year.


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