Empathy, Equity, and Excellence Empower Everyone
Over the summer, I had the opportunity to complete the Alberta Leadership Quality Standard Program. We were challenged to develop a five-word story representing our beliefs about leadership and how that translates into school success. Five words are not a lot to express years of learning and reflection. But when I reflected on my 11 years at TIS as a teacher and leader and what TIS represents for staff, students, and the community, I came up with “Empathy, Equity and Excellence Empower Everyone. Below, I would like to share how TIS demonstrates this statement and its impact on student success.
TIS is a diverse and inclusive community that has a wide range of families and backgrounds. Each family and their children have unique strengths they bring to TIS. However, we also all have challenges that can come at any time and affect our families and children. At TIS, we are a school focused on building relationships with the community that allows for empathy and understanding when we face difficult situations. When a student comes to school upset and needs support, TIS has the teachers and resources to give the student and family what they need. When families share obstacles and its effect on their children, we empathize with them and work as a team to ensure the child has the support in school to feel safe and cared for. As our mission states, we engage our students in a “safe, caring, and welcoming environment.”
Each student should achieve success at school. However, what that means to each child is different. TIS focuses on the importance of equity in education and ensures that each child feels successful where they are in their learning journey. Children are challenged to push themselves and reach their full potential through differentiated instruction, targeted learning goals, and individualized support. Every family and child comes to TIS with unique stories, backgrounds, and experiences. TIS ensures that no matter who you are, you are given every opportunity to succeed. Learning about our children and utilizing the appropriate resources to challenge your child can help make every child successful.
Student excellence is the driving force of everyone at TIS. What defines excellence for each child will vary. Still, we are committed to high expectations, standards, and achievement for each student. Our staff is focused on pursuing excellence for each student, creating a growth mindset for everyone at the school. Children are committed to their growth and see their success through the support and guidance of teachers and the school community. Whether this is through their coaches on a team, the teacher running an extracurricular activity, or a staff member seeing a student who needs someone to talk to, by having a committed vision to student excellence, the entire community is there to support one another.
Through these three aspects, every child can be empowered to reach their full potential. By fully understanding our families and students, we learn what strengths they bring to the school community and opportunities to engage students in their learning. The stronger our relationships are with one another, the greater opportunity there is to work together to understand what the child needs and how to get them there. This relationship, with the support networks at school coupled with the focus on student excellence, empowers every child to achieve their goals and be successful in their learning. This makes TIS unique and an incredible school for children and families.