Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Seisen Spirit

September 8th, 2016 was a very special birthday for a very special lady in the life of Seisen International School. Sr. Asuncion Lecubarri who was twice Head of School and served Seisen for more than 25 years turned 95!
Sr. Asuncion with Elementary School students
Students from Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle and High School gathered in the gym to mark this momentous day and to sing Happy Birthday to this lady of incredible strength, courage, love and conviction. Sr. Asuncion has touched so many lives in so very many ways. I don't know anyone whose had the privilege of meeting her who hasn't come away with some piece of advice, some words of wisdom or the suggestion of a task they might do! Suggestions always rooted and wrapped in love and accompanied by a smile.

Students from KG, ES, MS and HS gather to wish Sr. Asuncion a Happy Birthday!
Sr. Asuncion is loved from the four corners of the world. But why are so many of us in awe and admiration of her and quite frankly, in love with her? Sr. Asuncion for many of us is Seisen, she embodies the Seisen spirit - she's a model and reflection of the type of learner and individual Seisen hopes to help create.

Our current Head of School, Ms. Colette Rogers pointed out to the girls assembled in the gym yesterday the links betweens Sr. Asuncion's own life and the Seisen Learner Profile (our ultimate learning objectives). Sr. Asuncion is a communicator who speaks three languages and who has over 2,000 friends on Facebook! She's a risk-taker for believing in her dream of Seisen and helping to realise it in it's current location in Yoga, a religious woman who believes deeply in the power of God's love and who demonstrates great love, belief and interest in people. She's knowledgeable! Sr. Asuncion was a founding member of the Japan Council of International School, and a member of the (IB) and (EARCOS) boards. She's a thinker and the reason we have the IB at Seisen - she initially implemented the Diploma Program with just two students signed-up. Thankfully for the Elementary, she also supported the adoption of the IB PYP at Seisen.

Yesterday, Sr. Asuncion reminded the Seisen students that summer was over and that now was the time for them to study, to work hard so that they would help contribute to creating a better world. Guy Claxon (2015), Emeritus Professor of Learning Sciences at the University of Winchester reminds us of the importance of the approaches to learning students bring to and develop during learning engagements; attitudes such as enthusiasm, curiosity, commitment and confidence. These dispositions or learning behaviours help determine what use students will ultimately put their learning to.

We strive in the Elementary to create stimulating, warm and challenging learning environments in which these dispositions can grow. When I was a young teacher Sr. Asuncion was paying me to be a good Kindergarten Teacher, to teach the children about number, reading, writing, about the world. Then she told me what she considered my real job to love the children, to make them believe in themselves so they would go out into the world confidently and with love for others. She also told me it was a life's work and that I'd get it wrong sometimes. I'm still on that road of trying to get it right and I thank Sr. Asuncion for this never-ending dream and quest!
The Sisters with Ms. Rogers
With love from Seisen Elementary Sr. Asuncion for a Very Happy Birthday! We're working to try make your dream a reality! May you be united like the fingers on a hand - St. Raphaela Maria.

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