The Yin and Yang of Learning

There’s nothing like our grade two International Celebration to remind me of the Yin and Yang of learning.

Last Friday, our grade twos showed up in costumes from around the world. In their grade-two way, they did a brilliant job at assembly and then back in their classrooms sharing what they knew about their adopted countries.

What I love about this is the way these projects immerse students in how different life can be elsewhere. Some people argue we should focus on our similarities with others, and of course there are many. However, I’m most grateful for our differences, because it’s our differences which make us reflect anew on ourselves.

When I lived in Japan, not a single day went by when I didn’t learn something new, something that made me pause and adjust my understanding of the world and what was possible in it. Among all those lessons was that of Yin and Yang, and the notion that life is full of complementary opposites – it always was, is, shall be and should be – just like night and day.

This flies in the face of the primal Western mindset – the conviction that all can and should be great, that happiness should be a singular goal, and that frustration, setbacks, and grief are bad and to be avoided.

Heavy stuff from a grade two showcase.

Taking place one week before the end of school, I can’t help but reflect on the year. We wholeheartedly strive to maximize the Yang (light) part of the duality. Learning should have many successes. It should have moments of unbridled joy. There are so many such moments at KCS that a book couldn’t capture them all, let alone a blog.

It’s also important to remember the presence and the role of the Yin (dark).The year has also had frustrations, tears, injuries, and conflicts. There have been disagreements, hurt feelings, difficult discussions, and problems that lingered longer than anyone wanted. We work hard to minimize them, yet they happen anyway.

Life happens in complementary opposites, and life happens at KCS. Learning to be resilient is one of our KCS Habits because being resilient is necessary to get through the bumps inherent in a life fully lived.

We’ll keep working to make as much happiness as possible at KCS. And we’ll keep working to help our students face any setbacks. Knowing what matters in life includes both.

Thanks for the reminder, grade twos. And thanks to everyone, teachers, parents and students, who live through the Yin and Yang with us. It has been a great year of learning.

Andrea Fanjoy,
Assistant Head, Academics

You can follow Andrea on Twitter @afanjoy.

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