LEARNING FROM OTHERS - ALAN DICK

Alan Dick

A Smile That Says 'You're Great! - Alan Dick

My wife, Renee, and I met Alan Dick in 1990, when he was my Vice-Principal. It was the first year in Hong Kong for both of us. He had just arrived from over a decade in Canada's arctic.

It wasn't particularly his strengths as an administrator: the 'mechanics' of his administration were 'invisible'. School ran smoothly, classrooms were positive, productive places. Most of all, from the start to the finish, he was a friend. He loved the school. He loved the people. You could hear and feel his passion 

for 'his school' as he regularly, personally toured people through CDNIS.

What stands out most powerfully was his constant, cheerful presence at the door each day, welcoming each child by name - many (if they wished) with a hug. He greeted teachers, parents, drivers and helpers, too - often by name. Over about 15 years, he had come to know many of these households very well. And they knew he cared.

He was there at the door at the end of the day, too. "Did you have a good day?" "What did you learn today that was FUN?" "Swimming lessons this afternoon?" "How's your brother?" Whenever we visited or worked in the school over the years, he always made my wife and I feel "special" - that he was delighted to see us again and to catch up on our news.

When Alan died very suddenly in 2009, thousands attended the celebration of his life. The school (CDNIS) had to hold the celebration in Hong Kong's Asia Expo Centre.

As I listened to the flood of treasured memories which many people shared, I realized that thousands of others shared my own sense of a "special" friendship.

Simply 'being loved' is empowering. I learned that, yet again, from Alan Dick

More:  www.cdnis.edu.hk/alandick/

 

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