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Meet My Principal - Nilai International School

Published by SchoolAdvisor on May 07, 2019, 12:55 PM

A booming personality, Charles Dormer introduced himself with such gusto that we at Schooladvisor couldn't help but be drawn to such a charming person. Charles has been in Malaysia for some time now, and loves the mountainous landscape of Ipoh as well as exploring different cities in Malaysia with his beautiful wife, Janine. Having been a teacher for the past 30 years, he has always been drawn to the profession.

What drew you into education in the first place?

I admired my teachers at school, and loved reading, and knew I would be a teacher from the age of 12. I am the first generation to be educated in my family, and I found school such an amazing world of opportunity to learn.

What do you think your school needs from its’ principal?

Time, patience, care, consistency, firmness, fairness, determination, inspiration, innovation, leadership, high standards and marketing skills.

What are the school’s strengths you will be building on?

Great students, staff and parents, working together in a caring community amid the natural wonders of Malaysia.

What does education need to focus on in the future?

4IR skills – cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence, ethical judgement, social enterprise, environmental entrepreneurship, and independence mixed with interdependence, for an increasingly VUCA world – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Maths, Scientific methodology, logic and communication skills will always matter.

If we were sitting here a year from now conducting an interview for a recent success, what would you hope or want that success to be?

We are competing in the World Scholars’ Cup in June, in Beijing in the global round, after winning through at the local round in KL. We are competing in Negeri Sembilan state sports, an ASEAN Young Enterprise competition, for Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Bronze medals for our students, and to earn Silver Eco-School Status from the World-Wide Find for Nature. We also hope to see outstanding IGCSE results this August. I would like to be able to tell you about children’s achievements and growth through all of these things.

How do you build a positive school culture? Give examples of how you do that here.

Encourage and support each child and each staff member – not just teachers – to become the best that they can be. Treat everyone – students, staff, parents – equally, fairly, and with respect. Listen to, and try to understand, everyone. When you disagree with people after that, tell them honestly and ask for their cooperation and support. Be as clear as possible in often complex circumstances. Promote good causes, every one a leader, respect for religious faith with kindness and compassion, environmentalism, care for others and the planet. Encourage teamwork and partnership. Try to praise, reinforce and share good practice wherever you see it. Teach and exemplify good manners in spoken and written communication, and behaviour. Encourage both local and expat staff to teach each other their skills and knowledge. Relentlessly raise the standard of English among all staff, students and parents to promote better and more subtle mutual understanding and communication. Use technology appropriately to support all of these goals. Every Tuesday afternoon, we gather for whole-staff development sessions in which we engage our creativity and language skills to teach each other and learn from each other. In our Staff Training Week in August 2018, we spent a whole day learning together from Orang Asli representatives, which Malaysians and expats found equally inspiring.

Rapid Fire Questions with Charles Dormer

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