Get to know our PYP Coordinator, Mr. Balog-Ang!
At TIS, we are proud to be on the path to PYP accreditation, and our remarkable PYP Coordinator, Darwin Balog-Ang plays an important role in this journey. With over 17 years of PYP experience including 6 years as a PYP Coordinator, and 10 years as an IB-PYP workshop leader, Mr. Balog-Ang is a beacon of excellence in education. He has led two schools to PYP evaluation success and holds a Masters of International Education Administration from Endicott College in Massachusetts, USA.
In this interview, he shares how TIS is taking learning to new heights by embracing the International Baccalaureate and Primary Years Programme. He also provides valuable insights into how the school goes above and beyond to deliver an enriching educational experience.
In your journey as a PYP coordinator, can you share a personal experience or a specific moment that has had a profound impact on your approach to education and the PYP?
One profound moment for me was witnessing a grade 5 learning exhibition where students showcased their knowledge, creativity and passion in their presented projects. I was impressed by the ability of these ten year old students to take inspired action and make a difference in the world. It was truly a testament to the effectiveness of the PYP's inquiry-based approach and how PYP helps shapes young leading minds. Education is not just about acquiring knowledge; it's about equipping students with the skills, values, and urgency to create positive change in their communities and beyond.
As a PYP coordinator, what are some of the most important values or principles that guide your approach to implementing the PYP in our school?
Some important values and principles that guide my approach in implementing PYP in our school are student-centred learning, inquiry-based learning and appreciation for different cultures and perspectives. These values align with the principles upheld by TIS, making it a natural decision for the school to pursue accreditation.
By placing students at the centre of the learning process, we aim to foster intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth.
Another shared value is the importance of inquiry-based learning, emphasising the value of curiosity, critical thinking and problem solving skills. By encouraging students to ask questions, we encourage them to explore, investigate, discover, and make connections across different subjects. This technique cultivates critical thinking, unleashes creativity, and fuels an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
How does pursuing PYP accreditation reinforce the commitment of TIS to delivering an exceptional educational experience?
This accreditation process reinforces our commitment to delivering an exceptional educational experience at TIS, and promoting opportunities for collaboration, professional development and continuous improvement. It allows us to further strengthen our implementation of the PYP, ensuring that our students receive a high-quality education that is relevant and meaningful.
The alignment between the values of the PYP and TIS makes pursuing accreditation a logical step for the School
PYP accreditation is not just a stamp of approval; it's a resounding declaration of the School's unwavering commitment to delivering an exceptional education to your family. With this recognition in hand, you can rest assured that your family is part of a cutting-edge institution that embraces the latest educational research and best practices.
What strategies or approaches do you employ to ensure that the PYP remains relevant and adaptable in a rapidly changing educational landscape?
We have an arsenal of strategies and approaches to ensure that the PYP remains at the forefront of innovation and adaptability.
The secret weapon is our ongoing professional development, curriculum updates, and a culture for innovation. Our teachers engage in conferences, workshops and online courses to stay in the forefront of education. We challenge the status quo by reviewing and updating the curriculum, seeking input from experts, parents and students. We foster a growth mindset, encouraging exploration and experimentation. At our school, we embrace change, setting up the pace and redefining education. It’s a dynamic, exciting journey that shapes the future of education and opens up a world of advantages and benefits for your children equipping them with lifelong skills and attitudes that will set them up for success in school and the real world.
What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of teaching, and how do you think they influence your approach to education?
Beyond the classroom, I am immersed in a world of adventure that fuels my teaching with boundless inspiration. Bird and wildlife photography has taught me the importance of keen observation and attention to detail, skills that seamlessly translate into education. Scuba diving has instilled in me a love for exploration, embracing diversity, and adapting to new challenges. Camping with loved ones has taught me the value of building strong relationships and creating meaningful experiences. These hobbies have shaped my approach to teaching in profoundly positive ways.
You’ve joined our school along with your family. How has your family experience been adjusting to our school community so far?
Wow, what a fantastic welcome! My family and I are absolutely thrilled to be here at the school. We've been embraced by a wave of warmth and excitement from the moment we arrived. The people here are incredibly friendly and welcoming, making us feel right at home. It's clear that our school values connections and a sense of belonging. We're so grateful for the warm welcome and support we've received so far, and we can't wait to dive into school activities and events. Let the adventure begin!
I look forward for the opportunity to work with parents to together create an enriching and inspiring school experience for your child as we shape a bright future for them.