This speech was shared at the Opening Ceremony of Maple Leaf International School – Shanghai on September 2, 2019. It was inspired by this epic convocation speech from Georgia Tech in 2013.
It is a privilege and honour for my wife and I to come to Shanghai to be the Principal of the BC program. This is my third year in China with Maple Leaf after working for 28 years in schools in the province of British Columbia, Canada where our curriculum comes from and I am very excited to come to the Maple Leaf Shanghai campus to work with students and teachers. I hope you will have a great year and I want to encourage you in your studies and your preparation for your university applications that “You can do that!”
For students, “You can do that!” means that you can learn to gain new knowledge, improve your study skills, and increase your English ability. Remember, you must take care of your own well-being by getting good sleep, eating proper food, and getting exercise. This will enable you to attend class everyday and in every class, keep up with class activites and to prepare for tests.
To teachers, “You can do that!” means that you can find new ways to engage and involve your students in lessons, help build students understanding of a new or difficult idea, and get involved yourself in clubs and school activities even when you are tired from a long week of teaching students in their second language.
To parents, “You can do that!” means that you can encourage your child to do their best, stay focused on their goals even when they make a mistake, and help them develop their character as they move from being a child to becoming an adult.
For us as a campus, “You can do that!” means that together we can grow to become the best campus in Maple Leaf and the best International School in Shanghai if we each remember why we are here. Maple Leaf’s challenge to you is that “You know where you are going” as the school helps to prepare you for a successful life and university career. If we focus on building good habits and achieve success in the classroom, our school will achieve growth in quality and in enrollment as other students will want to join and experience our success.
You can do that, Shanghai campus! Have a great year ahead!!