Mr. Kandelaars on Respect Motivate Achieve

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We have all heard of the school’s mantra: “Respect, Motivate, Achieve”, but what do these three words really mean to our community? This is the third of many interviews with members of ISZL that aims to understand the values behind our mission statement and how these beliefs bring us all together. This week, Mr. Kandelaars shares his view.


Who do you respect? Why do you respect this person?

I will mention two people. First, I have great respect for John Lewis, a civil rights activist and current US congressman, who led a grassroots movement for voting rights for African Americans during the 1960s and beyond. Grassroots activists are often forgotten in history. He nearly died for the cause at Selma, Alabama, in 1965 and perhaps did more than anyone to initiate the passing of the Voting Rights Act of the same year. The second person is the iconoclastic writer George Orwell who contested extremist ideas of the right during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as the ideological and lazy thinking of many of the left on the eve of World War II. Both individuals had great moral and physical courage, and yet maintained their humility.


What motivates you? Why is this your motivation?

To always keep learning. The more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know, and that’s OK. I am inspired by the words of Robert Rubin, a former US Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton Administration: “Some people are certain of everything than I am of anything.”


What do you feel that you have achieved in your lifetime? What would you like to achieve in the future?

That’s not such an easy question but, whatever my achievements, they seem to involve travel. I have traveled to over 60 countries, many of them with my wife, I have cycled 2500 kilometres on one trip through Europe before I started teaching, and I have pursued an interesting teaching career in four countries. Beyond my teaching career, it would be an achievement if I could write something that combines travel and history. I would call it an experiment rather than a further career choice – and if uncertainty allows. I am inspired by two books that cover this genre, if it can be called as such: Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz and Stasiland by Anna Funder.

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