|18 Apr 2022|
From the time we are small children we learn that we should treat others as we wish to be treated. At ISKL we practice a culture of care and empathy. Looking after one another, recognizing and honoring people’s different paths is who we are. We believe that no small act of care is ever wasted. We all need to be held and supported through the difficult times in our lives. As a reminder to us all about how meaningful a small passing gesture can be, Mohamad Izzat Jahaya (‘08) shares with us how one teacher showing empathy toward him, still resonates with him today.
He remembers when his Biology teacher, Ms. Dante Meyer chose understanding rather than frustration. Looking back Mohamad shares:
“I have a very fond memory of my High School biology teacher, Ms. Dante Meyer (alumni faculty ‘04-08, and ‘12-’14). I raised a concern to her through email about how I felt overwhelmed with my homework and assignments in general, and that I felt I did not have time. This coincided with a major assignment that was due for her class the next day which she gave a very fair and ample time to complete so I was surprised to receive a reply from her afterward excusing me of it, of the whole assignment, and even gave words of encouragement! In all honesty, aside from the time constraint, I was just a bit lazy and procrastinating. I felt guilty. She displayed such empathy towards me that it resonates to this day. It helped change my work ethic and perception towards challenges. It shows that reactions and gestures towards others can have a lasting impact.
She spurred me to become more aware of the value of time and to take full advantage of it. Due to the guilt I was compelled to make it up to her and for myself. So I was very proud to have scored 94% in one of the tests in her class after the incident. I never would have scored that high if it wasn't for her. It wasn't so much about the grade but it was the feeling of fulfillment and gratification. That feeling continues on to this day in everything that I do. This may be a simple passing memory but of such great importance. I am sure she does not remember me or that reply she gave on that email, but I always will so if she is still in ISKL, please thank her for me for this lasting memory.”
So, Ms. Meyer on behalf of Mohamad, and the rest of the ISKL community, we would like to thank you for the care and empathy you showed in this moment. As an educator what probably just seemed like a small, yet right thing to do had a lasting impact on this student. We are sure this kind of act doesn’t begin and end with Ms. Meyer. As we celebrate the extraordinary and the ordinary in all of us, we hope everyone discovers and practices compassion, self-care and empathy in all that they do.
Do you have a memory from your time at ISKL that you would like to share? Let us know at [email protected]