The most popular one mentioned was perseverance and determination. Almost all teachers have mentioned this in their reply. They have said that they deeply encourage students to keep trying even if they fail and realise that failure is just as valuable as success. They found it very pleasing when a student is willing to work hard on something they haven’t quite grasped in class.
A close second was a passion or interest in learning. Many teachers have said that they found teaching very rewarding when a student does research outside of class and tells them about it. Contrary to a popular belief, teachers truly enjoy conversations after class when a student wants to discuss a topic in more depth.
Most of all the other characteristics teachers have mentioned are part of the FIS Personal Profile. It is a list of traits that all students at FIS should be working on - and all the first letters of the traits make the abbreviation I PROMISE. A more detailed description of it can be found on the first page of the Student Planner.
I - Inquirers
P - Principled
R - Risk-takers
O - Open-minded
M - Mindful
I - Innovative
S - Smart
E - Empathetic
It is not expected that students come in Year 7 with these traits fully developed. Teachers have told me that they are glad to help students develop these over the years so that when they leave FIS, they leave as well-rounded students.
Other things teachers mentioned were responsibility, concentration, creativity and toleration.
Out of all the answers I received, which were quite straightforward, I had one odd answer which I found very interesting. This teacher, Ms. Hazari, said she didn’t really ‘look’ for qualities in a student.
“The singular thing that has kept me from getting jaded in my teaching career is that students are different by virtue of their different qualities which give them unique personalities” she says.
Although there are some qualities she expects when students come into secondary, she celebrates the fact that students have different strengths and weaknesses. According to her, even one new student can change the whole group’s dynamic different.
Thank you to all the teachers who have replied and contributed to this post!