In my formative years, just the thought of being summoned to the Principal's office was a nerve-wracking experience. However, times (and fears) have long since changed, and my meeting with Principal Mark Ford at Garden International School’s main campus in Mont Kiara was nothing short of warm and welcoming.
I ask Mark what an average day at Garden International School looks like for him and what he enjoys most about his role at this top-ranking international school in Malaysia.
“There isn’t really an average day in the life of a Principal,” Mark says. “Everyday is different, I might be dealing with happy or unhappy parents, a teacher with concerns, student issues or a fire drill. It’s totally unpredictable, as anything can appear on the radar!” he says.
However, he says his favourite part of each day is getting to know the students and greeting them each morning as they arrive at the entrance. And in a school of almost 2,000 students, this task can be sometimes easier said than done.
Before Garden International School, Mark served as the Principal of Dubai British School for 8 years, amidst a rapidly evolving educational landscape.
“One of the greatest characteristics – one of the most important—of any Head of School is being open-minded and keeping up to date with what’s going in the educational world.” Mark says.
“Having a growth mindset is more important than ever for an educationalist today. Being able to instill in children a love for learning, allowing them to embrace challenges and understand the importance of resilience, dedication and hardwork are essential.
"This mindset along with their ability to self-critic and self-evaluate, teaches children to understand the brain’s capacity to grow and change.”