How can we overcome challenges?

This has been our conceptual question for the MYP Years 3 and 4 Language Acquisition group during the March – April 2022 term. We have been actively exploring what it means to be a leader: by exploring the exemplary lives of famous, successful people who have overcome personal challenges (like Albert Einstein, Lionel Messi, Oprah Winfrey, Lady GaGa), world leaders (such as Nelson Mandela), inspirational teenagers (like Malala Yousafzai), world-class athletes (for example, Michael Jordan), as well as paralympic athletes. We were especially touched by the story of blind pole vaulter Charlotte Brown, who started losing her sight when she was a little girl, and who has since become a world-class champion.

All these magnificent stories inspired the students to embark on a journey of self-reflection: in order to better understand the elements of building leadership skills in their own life. We have looked into the qualities of good and bad leaders, laughed and cried while completing our emotional profiles questionnaires, and were amazed by what the Learning Styles quizzes and strategies have revealed about how we can successfully develop as IB Learners at the International School 33 school community.

Our statement of inquiry this term is, “Our identity is affected by the relationships we form; building relationships requires good communication and empathy for others’ points of view. This in turn helps us to be better prepared to overcome challenges.”

To crown their learning journeys in the field of leadership and risk taking, students had the opportunity to apply their communication skills, and demonstrate empathy and open-mindedness in welcoming Charles Pagès, a world-class freestyle motocross athlete in a Zoom interview on Tuesday, 22nd March 2022. His perspective on his life experience, career, passion for his chosen discipline (FMX), and how he managed to overcome the tremendous challenge of mental and physical rehabilitation after his accident in 2010 was a rich source of inspiration to us all.

Students were all touched by Charles’ heart-felt message as he encouraged us to follow our heart’s passion, dream big and stay humble. This is how we can progress as good leaders of our own life.

Article written by Angéla B., Language Acquisition teacher, IS33, Gradignan

Link to Charles Pagès’ profile: