ISY Elementary School Faculty Blog

Childish Wisdom

Mike Simpson

November 6, 2020


Thank you for supporting Chinthe Spirit Week. This was really important for our students to have this opportunity to have a laugh. You can see some photos of you all got up to on our ISY website’s Social Media page.


Zar Li has kindly offered to run 15 minute work outs for our students that will start at 8:10am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. These work outs will start next Monday. The Zoom link for the workouts will be on the Friday Family Report each week.

Please encourage students to join and also post the Zoom link on your Google Classroom (if your class has one)

The workouts will finish at 8:25am to give students time to get a drink and get organized before joining their classes at 8:30am.

Childish Wisdom

A month or so ago I wrote about how Winnie the Pooh is basically a Taoist master and an excellent role model for these uncertain times. 

The Te of Piglet is a book from the same author as The Tao of Pooh. I’m still very new to Taoism but according to the author, ‘Piglet demonstrates a very important principle of Taoism: the Te – a Chinese word meaning Virtue – of the Small.’

The author writes:

Is the adult wiser than the child? On the individual level, of course, that depends on which adult and which child. But beyond that, wisdom is to the Taoist a child’s state. Children are born with it; most adults have lost it, or a good deal of it. And those who haven’t, are in one way or another, like children.’

As teachers, we are constantly reminded of the wisdom of children. I do not have a class of my own but I do faciliate two After School Activities (ASA). 

One ASA is a group of elementary students who I pose philosophical questions too after reading stories from the Odyssey. Here are some example of the wisdom of children from that ASA:

Me: ‘Do you think Helen of Troy was the most beautiful woman in the world?’

Child: ‘Beauty is an opinion and if it is an opinion you can’t judge it.’

Me: ‘Do you think it would be good to be happy all of the time?’

Child: ‘How do you even know you are happy if you are not sad sometimes?’

Both of these answers are examples of critical thinking at its very best. 

Critical Thinking, along with Compassion, Collaboration, Communication, Courage, Creativity, and Reflection, is an ISY Learner Attribute that we strive to nurture in all that we do. In nurturing these attributes in our children, we need to preserve the wisdom that they already have as we expose them to new perspectives and key academic concepts and skills. 

I really hope that every child who leaves ISY retains their childish wisdom. Childish wisdom mixed with a global perspective and some ‘grown up’ expertise and experience will go a long way in finding the answers to many of the problems that our children will need to solve.

Hoff, Benjamin, and Ernest H. Shepard. The Tao of Pooh. Methuen, 1989.

Hoff, Benjamin, and Ernest H. Shepard. The Te of Piglet. Egmont, 2003.


Thank for the time and effort you put into this first round of reports. The comments were purposeful and professional and the  ISY Learner Attributes showed a personal understanding of each child. These reports will provide a good focus for our Parent Teacher Conferences.

Parents are now able to sign up for meeting times. These times should show up in your Google Calendar. We will provide more information on Monday as to how Parent Teacher Conferences will work.

Thank you to Anshu for all the work he did in setting up these meetings so we don’t have to!


We will get this started again so if you have any student (or students) that you would like me to recognise for living the ISY Attributes send me an email with a sentence about why they are to be recognised and a time that I could come on Zoom and say hi. Any time or day is OK – If I have a meeting I’ll suggest another time until we get one that works. I will jump on your Zoom and then I’ll get you to put the student or student(s) into a break out room with me. I’ll have a chat with them and take a screenshot that I will send to their parents.


Music & Art
To make Music and Art classes more manageable and to ensure that every homeroom class gets one special per day, we have a new Quarter Schedule. The main change is that each Grade 1-5 homeroom class will get separate Art and Music classes plus one whole grade level class. To make this work, we have split the Quarter into 2 halves. In one half, students will have only Art (no Music) and in the other half, students will have only Music (no Art). Other specialist classes are not affected. Your team leaders know about this and will be able to help you understand these schedules:

Would you like to make a difference in a child’s life and have fun at the same time?

The Sports-A-Thon is an annual fundraising event for the UWS-ISY Wan Kaung School partnership.  As many of you know, ISY has partnered with United World Schools (UWS) to sponsor the building of and maintaining a school in Northern Myanmar.  This sponsorship allows the school to maintain a proper teaching staff and supplies students with resources to be successful.  If you are interested in learning more about this amazing program, check out the ISY website.

This year’s event will be held virtually on Saturday, December 12 from 9:00-11:00 AM.

How can you participate?

1. Join a zoom meeting on December 12th, engage in and sponsor your son/daughter in a physical activity (or join several) and make a donation!  

2. Video your family member(s) engaging in a physical activity prior to December 12th, submit the video to be included in the day’s celebration and make a donation!

How else can you support the UWS Wan Kaung School?  

1. Sponsor a Student.  A monthly or one-time donation will enable a child to attend the school.

2. Purchase an ISY mask through the school store.  All profits go directly to the Wan Kaung School.

Each year, ISY is committed to raising at least $10,000.  Please consider making your donation today!

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