October 9, 2013

posted Oct 20, 2013, 12:49 AM by barryjohnson@isriau.org

Have a GREATS Vacation!

As we are about to take a week off school to recharge our batteries, I would like to present you with a challenge that will enhance your vacation. A vacation is a time to relax and enjoy quality time with our loved ones. It is also a time to have fun and seek new adventures. It occurs to me that vacation is an ideal time for personal growth through one or more of our ISR “Expected Schoolwide Learning Results” - ESLRs.

You may be thinking that this is a clever way for me to remind all of us to keep focused on these ESLRs, which we have come to know by the acronym GREATS. Well you are right. The GREATS represent the skills that our community values most highly in education. They are the capabilities that we want all students to develop to their fullest potential while attending ISR. So my challenge to you is to be conscious of one of the GREATS that your family is further developing on this vacation.

Send me a photo of your family enjoying an activity that demonstrates your children acting as global stewards, or responsible individuals, or any of the other capabilities listed below.

All students of International Schools Riau are: G Global Stewards

R Responsible Individuals

E Expressive Communicators

A Academic Achievers

T Thinkers and Problem-Solvers

S Self-Directed Learners

On the following page, I have given examples of different ways that your children can develop their ESLRs on vacation. There are several examples but you need only demonstrate one. Email your photo with a brief comment to lorythiessen@isriau.org .


Global Steward is one who demonstrates local and global awareness, possesses a character of high standards, creates and maintains positive relationships, and exhibits service orientation.

Your vacation is a good time to help your child become more culturally sensitive by appreciating a new culture that you are experiencing.

Responsible Individual is one who shows personal responsibility by being independent and holding him/herself accountable for his/her own actions, shows social responsibility by respecting and helping others, working collaboratively with others and holding themselves accountable to others in group settings, and takes care of his/her surroundings by being environmentally conscious and globally and culturally responsible.

A responsible individual on vacation might demonstrate this capability by taking care of the environment while on vacation.

Expressive Communicator is one who either independently or collaboratively is receptive to feedback, evaluates it and makes appropriate adjustments, chooses the modality of a presentation based on their message and their audience, organizes and delivers their knowledge and understanding in a coherent, creative presentation, and communicates their emotions and/or needs and offers solutions in an appropriate manner.

An expressive communicator on vacation might keep a journal and take photos to share what he or she learned on their vacation experience.

Academic Achiever is one who is consistently organized and prepared, uses self- reflection and responds to feedback, demonstrates growth towards meeting/exceeding curriculum standards, and demonstrates flexibility and the use of multiple strategies.

Thinker and Problem Solver is one who applies skills/knowledge from one context to another and makes connections, chooses and applies strategies based on the situation or task, and demonstrates the ability to question.

Vacations do not always go as smoothly as planned. A problem solver will come up with an alternative plan to enjoy the vacation despite setbacks.

Self-Directed Learner is one who demonstrates curiosity through questioning and inquiry, demonstrates resourcefulness by making appropriate choices to develop his/ her skills, interests and talents when provided with several options, and takes action in setting, achieving and assessing goals.

A self-directed learner on vacation might look for an opportunity to try an activity which he or she has never done before, or to reach a higher skill level in a favorite activity.