Since our students returned to school on July 16, 2012 many changes have occurred in the IICS (IPEKA International Christian School) Junior High Division. As we approach the holiday season of Idul Fitri, it is appropriate that we reflect on the things that have happened over the past four weeks and where we are heading as a school.
When I was first appointed Principal of the IICS Junior High Division, I knew many challenges lied ahead. Being an Australian with a passion for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as giving the best education possible to students, I confess I have my own vision of what I would like to see IICS become.
Even though I have lived more than seven years in Indonesia and have an Indonesian wife, I am acutely aware of the cultural challenges that confront me and all of us at IICS as we move toward becoming an International-Standards international school.
But first, let me outline briefly my expectations concerning the Junior High Division for 2012-13. These expectations I have shared with all teachers in Junior High:
(1)Ã‚Â That the classrooms be places of purposeful and profound learningÃ¢â‚¬â€¢in subject and the Gospel;
(2)Ã‚Â That the House Program, and especially Friday afternoon activities, be a fun time and source of inspiration and learning for both teachers and students alike; and finally,
(3)Ã‚Â That every Junior High student will one day look back on the year with gratitude and fond memories.
Back to the challenges ahead. No doubt as an international school which adheres to International Standards, our commitment to delivering instruction in English in the classrooms (with one or two exceptions) and in every other part of the school will become more and more imperative.
In addition, the professional demands on all teachers and staff will gradually increaseÃ¢â‚¬â€¢including occasional increased demands on our time, increased demands on our personal and professional development, curriculum and pedagogical development, and increased demands on how we present our classrooms, our corridors and ourselves to our internal and external stakeholders.
Of course, none of the challenges above should surprise anyone, but I have missed the most demanding challenge which we must all face and that is the challenge of the Gospel.
We live in a world where sadly Bible illiteracy is growing, but not only where we would expect itÃ¢â‚¬â€¢in non-Christian environmentsÃ¢â‚¬â€¢but more disconcerting, among those who claim to be followers of the Word.
It is therefore more urgent than ever that our teachers be able to meet the challenges that life in the 21st century imposes upon Christian teachers, namely to be Bible literate and articulate in sharing the Gospel, as well as proficient in integrating the Christian Gospel and worldview into their subjects, as well as living authentic Christian lives that truly embody and reflect the Gospel to a lost world.
So on reflection, how do the first four weeks of the year accord with what I have shared above? Due to the outstanding effort and commitment of all Junior High teachers and staff, also the resilience and adaptability of our students, I am pleased to say that the last four weeks have been a delight. Both teachers and students have made me very proud. The smiles and greetings from students each day warm my heart deeply. Thank you, teachers and students!
Nevertheless, the journey is long and we have many days ahead. There is definitely no place for complacency or arrogance.
In any case, the work is the LORDÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and we are simply His servants. So it is right that I acknowledge and give the gratitude where it truly belongsÃ¢â‚¬â€¢to the Lord Jesus Christ for the work which He has graciously begun at IICS Junior High over the last four weeks. Let us never tire of giving Him thanks and praise.
Blessings in His name,