Welcome to the American International School of Conakry. We are proud to be the only accredited English-medium school in Guinea, and offer an American-style education in a decidedly international context. From Kindergarten through Grade 12, early childhood on up to a U.S. high school diploma, we engage with children and their families to provide a solid education that develops skills, critical thinking, imagination, and compassion.
I believe education has nothing to do with imparting knowledge, or teaching a “thing.” It is, rather, helping people make powerful decisions. Every moment children are confronted with choices to make. A first grader’s pencil breaks, and he needs to decide: Do I raise my hand and ask Teacher? Do I use a crayon? Do I take my neighbor’s pencil?
Teachers are there to help children negotiate these decisions so they can be powerful in life, so they can make choices that open up new possibilities. This is exactly the same thing the higher math teacher does when she shows her students ways to solve quadratic equations: She is helping them make powerful decisions.
In order to do this, excellent teachers honor the sacred relationship of I-Thou-It. I-Thou-It refers to the interrelatedness of teacher (I), student (Thou) and the task to be successfully negotiated (It). We must remember, the teacher (I) represents not only the adult in the classroom, but peers, parents, popular culture, things celebrated, all that serve to influence the learner.
An excellent teacher is constantly assessing the interplay of I,Thou and It, and making adjustments to honor each of them. Too much focus on the It and neglecting the learner, Thou, results in rigid teaching and turned-off learners. On the other hand, focusing on the child without enough regard to the task to be learned results in squishy standards and the student is robbed of his potential.
Excellent teachers accord dignity to all the elements, constantly assess and adjust the only thing they can, their role in the matter, the I. This is what they can control, but what influence that can have on the whole! Excellent teachers understand and are sensitive to the interplay of I, Thou, and It.