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We Are Back!

by Volker Ross

If it is about summing up this entire school year, there is not much else to say, but this one phrase:

We are back – back on campus, back in school, back in the classroom!

Or is there?

Indeed, there is something else to say, I believe.

And it is not about the many, many hours of preparation it took, to finally receive the “green light” from the authorities, to open the school at the beginning of December 2021.

This was plenty of work for many people involved -- the school management, liaison officer, members of the board, administration staff, etc. -- to become one of the first 20 schools to be allowed to open the classrooms again, indeed. An achievement that should not be undervalued.

But this is not what comes to my mind when I state that there is more to say than “WE ARE BACK”

What comes to mind is the how, is the style, and is the form in which we are back!

Because the most challenging year in the history of our GESM might well be one of the most successful ones.

Overcoming obstacles and managing a crisis is one thing – coming back, coming out of such a challenging situation, a better school than before, a more attractive school than before is something that needs to be noticed, I believe. This is something we can all be proud of -- something we should all be proud of.

Our students were surprised by two new GESM art rooms, stunned by two new GESM music rooms, excited by two new classrooms, and bewildered by the new GESM IT laboratory and the new IT installations inside many classrooms when coming back from online lessons that lasted all too long.

Let us remind ourselves that we had to share (with our partner school) one music room and one art room before this school year – therefore, many of our students never had the opportunity to use an art room or to have music lessons in an actual music room...

There was big excitement all over the campus about the new bridge as well, the new fast connection between the main building and the so-called IB building.

That GESM management, that the members of the GESM school board pushed boundaries by driving the school forward instead of just trying to “manage the crisis” makes this story, makes our story different from other schools.

During this school year, new ideas, new projects have been presented, were discussed, and approved – not only have the members of the GESM board approved the purchase of a new lot for the upcoming GESM urban garden project, but the board also agreed to substantial changes, not only in regard to the afternoon program for the upcoming school year…

A crisis does not create character – it reveals it.

We are back… Better than ever before!


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