The Basin and the Towel


“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” [1]

Dalat School has what we refer to as ESLRs — Expected School-Wide Learning Results. These are a set of goals for our students and represent an ideal we want them to become through their education at Dalat. The six ESLRs for our students include becoming transformed thinkers, passionate learners, God seekers, faithful stewards, effective communicators, and servant leaders.

Each year we select one of the ESLRs to become the “focus ESLR” which is then given extra attention in class and throughout the year. This year our focus ESLR is that of servant leader. The concept of servant leadership is not exclusive to the Christian faith. Over 30 years ago, Robert Greenleaf coined the phrase in his writings on leadership which were addressed to leaders of different faiths, organizations, and nations. Greenleaf noted from his research and experience as a senior executive in a Fortune 500 company that “the great leader is seen as a servant first, and that simple fact is the key to the leader’s greatness.” [2]

A number of years ago the art department at Dalat developed icons for our ESLRs and designed the following for servant leader. It is an excellent representation of what it means to be a servant leader. The image itself is a wash bowl and towel and connects to what Jesus did with his disciples before his death on the cross. In John 13 we are told that he washed the disciples’ feet — a dirty job usually performed by the lowest ranking person in the room. I don’t think it was coincidence that at the time he began to perform this act of humility and service, the disciples had been arguing amongst themselves who would be the greatest in God’s kingdom. What a powerful illustration this is for us regarding the true definition of leadership.

Dalat Students Will Become Servant Leaders:

Our ideal is students who…

  • develop and maintain relationships with people of different cultures and in diverse settings, showing respect, compassion, and love.
  • adopt a lifestyle of service in which they place the needs of others before their own.
  • recognize and respect those in authority.
  • extend justice and mercy to those in need.

Our students will…

  • set a good example in word and deed by following directions, being responsible, and meeting deadlines.
  • choose to participate in class and school community service projects and cultural activities.
  • display evidence of Christ-like character and integrity.

1 – John Maxwell
2 – R.K. Greenleaf, 1977. Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power & Greatness.

DB Admin March 7th, 2014 0 comments Blog

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Dalat Director

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people to make a positive impact on their world, walk with integrity, and follow Christ. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Dalat Director since 2006.

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