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ICSV: An International School

Oct 21, 2022

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about how it is possible for people from over 60 countries to get along so well here at ICSV. When people come from all around the world, there can be language issues, cultural misunderstandings, or even ignorance that there are such differences.

I can think of numerous times when working with our Austrian architect firm for the design of the new building that we thought we understood each other, but we really didn’t. One easy example is when I tried to explain how the classrooms would be set up. I even showed them in a diagram where I thought the teachers might place their desk in the classroom and took them to see our current classrooms. Each time they’d come back with a design with the teacher desk up front right in the middle of the room. I’d again tell them that it will probably not go there, etc. Then one day I added that the teacher would need their desktop computer at the back or side, but that they would still need access to the projector, etc. from the front. A light bulb went off in their heads when they said, “Doesn’t the teacher sit at the front of the room while they teach?” I told them that they walk around the room, but never just sit at the front of the room. That one question explained the lack of communication. We both had our own preconceived idea of how a teacher operates in their classroom. Evidently, in a traditional Austrian classroom, teachers stay seated while teaching. It never occurred to me that this was the case, and it never occurred to them that it wasn’t.

When we survey our alumni, one of the things that they mention as a highlight of their time at ICSV is having gone to school with students from all different nations. In a world where countries are at war and people are being persecuted for their beliefs, one of our core values is to teach respect for all individuals. For some, this is a new experience. Be assured that we work hard to instill in our students a love and acceptance of those who are different from themselves. You never know just who in our student body today might be in a position as an adult to change government policy or to work for the rights of the underprivileged. As we learn how to get along in spite of our differences, we grow to appreciate others because of our differences! ICSV sure is a special place.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director