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Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Sheila

Learn more about Sheila, Social Studies Teacher in the Upper School

 


Please introduce yourself briefly
My name is Sheila Cain. I come from the golden hills of Sonoma, California.  Although greatly missing the natural splendor of Northern California, for the past seven years, I have grown to call Luxembourg and ISL my home. The majority of my adult life has involved traveling, teaching and growing as an educator and life-long learner.

Tell us about your role at ISL
I have been given the privilege and challenge of teaching English and the Social Sciences to our seventh and eighth grade students. 

How long have you been working at ISL?
This is my seventh year.

What did you do prior to working at ISL?
Prior to coming to Luxembourg, I taught at two other international schools, one in Chile and the other in Ecuador.  However, when both my children were young, I made it a priority to be at home with them. That time was invaluable.
 
What does your typical day look like?
As a middle school teacher, life is never boring; no two days are alike. Some might consider that a blessing or curse but all of us who are teachers know this about our job and most of the time, this versatility is one of the aspects we enjoy most about our job. It keeps us on our toes, requiring us to be flexible, creative problem solvers and able to adjust at the spur of the moment.
 
What do you love most about your work?
Each day, I look forward to sharing laughter, embracing diverse opinions from a thriving international community and most of all, I love the incredible, creative and dedicated students and colleagues with whom I am surrounded. In this environment, I am always learning and growing, both professionally and personally. 
 
What do you think is unique about ISL?
I believe that the true internationalism and diversity of our school is what makes us unique. The diversity of our students and staff, the varied strengths and personalities which embody our school and even the diversity of each school day are what make us an extraordinary school. Our diversity is our strength; it compels all of us to respect, accept, learn, grow and excel.  

 


On a daily basis, how do you contribute to making ISL the school of choice?
Distinguishing our students as individuals rather than numbers or statistics is what ISL does extremely well. I, as well as so many of my colleagues, try to ensure that each student who I come in contact with feels recognized, understood, valued and cared for. When students feel a sense of belonging and support, they are able to thrive.

I also believe in the power of laughter and try to include it in all my lessons. Life is meant to be enjoyed and at times, this philosophy can get overshadowed by the strains of academic demands, so I try to instill in the students the importance of finding a balance of working hard, pushing themselves to rise to their full potential but also ensuring that they involve themselves in activities which makes them happy. Combining the love of learning with a balanced, healthy approach to life, are some of the greatest gifts we can provide our students.
 
Describe how ISL does above and beyond in teaching and learning?
The teachers at ISL put the well-being of students at the forefront of what we do. We get to know the students, understand their strengths and provide opportunities for them, both inside and outside the classroom. Sporting events, musicals and drama performances, outdoor learning experiences, Model United Nations trips and hosting visiting artists are some of the many enriching experiences we offer at ISL. From these enriching experiences, our students are able to discover their strengths and passions. 

What are the most important skills a student should acquire today?
Problem solving, communication skills, resiliency, learning to work with and respect the differing opinions of others.

How did you define the success of a student?
When they are challenged, thrive and rise to their highest self and most importantly, when they are happy. 

What is your best memory at ISL?
One of my favourite memories has been the Lip Sync Battles and Talent shows in the Upper School. These events gather our community for a charitable cause and highlight the diverse, creative talents so many of the students and faculty share here at the school. 

Describe ISL in 5 words
Diverse, talented, nurturing, cutting edge, evolving

 


 

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