New Perspectives of GSIS

Brian Jeen, Writer

We’ve all felt it before. The excitement and nervousness of being “the new person”— whether it’s at work or school. Everyone and everything is brand new and undiscovered. However, after being at a place for quite some time, we tend to get accustomed to our surroundings and adapt to the status quo. I interviewed two students and one teacher new to GSIS this school year, to hear their fresh perspectives on GSIS.

One of the new students this year is freshman Andrew Choi. Before attending GSIS, Andrew used to go to school in the U.S., as well as a Korean public school. At GSIS, he’s involved in USS Cross Country, JV Basketball and he plays the clarinet in the USS Band.

He was initially anxious to be put in a new environment. However, he says “GSIS’ community was so kind and caring, so I made friends really quickly. Now I love going here.”

One of the classes Andrew Choi takes is MYP Design

Regarding GSIS’ cafeteria food, Andrew thinks there could be “some improvements”, but, in general, he doesn’t have any major problems with it. When comparing GSIS to previous schools he’s been to, he says the school curriculum was a huge change. Andrew says, “My old school followed the American AP system, so going to an IB school was a really big difference.”

In general, Andrew rates his experience at GSIS a solid 8 out of 10 for its friendly community.

Another student new to GSIS is fifth-grader James Broom. James previously lived in Russia before coming to Korea. When James found out that he was going to go to GSIS, he was pretty excited after seeing photos of the school. He was also nervous, though, since he didn’t have much fun at his previous schools. However, the friendly teachers and welcoming community helped him adjust and make friends. Moreover, the IB education system was familiar to him since his previous schools also followed the same system. 

Regarding our school’s cafeteria food, James says “It’s much better than my previous school’s, with much more variety and flavor.” 

Overall, James rates GSIS a 7 out of 10, explaining that COVID-19 and online schooling slightly decreased his enjoyment of school.

One new teacher is Ms. Esther Machileka, a teacher in the drama department. Before her arrival at GSIS, Ms. Machileka was a trained actor and a former teacher in Suji, where she taught dance, music, and drama. Ms. Machileka was also very excited about coming to GSIS, as she was waiting for the opportunity to work in a school with great facilities. Ms. Machileka’s previous school did not have an auditorium, so it was difficult to have the experience of live theater as a drama teacher. Therefore, she was thrilled to work at GSIS with access to an auditorium, as well as great sporting and cultural facilities. 

Ms. Machileka teaching a drama class

When asked about the curriculum at GSIS, Ms. Machileka responded by saying she is still adapting to the IB system since she is used to the South African Education system. Ms. Machileka ended the interview by rating her time so far at GSIS a 9 out of 10.

All in all, it is essential that we listen to everyone in our GSIS community, not just the ones with seniority. Oftentimes, newcomers can offer new perspectives and a fresher take on things. Interacting with the new members of our community can help us when making possible improvements to enhance our school.