Jack is my oldest son and one of three kids. In his twelve years, he has become someone I couldn’t be more proud of. When Jack entered Middle School, he was extremely excited they had a wrestling program in Grade Five. Through wrestling, Jackson has found a passion and a means to challenge himself mentally and physically. However, without his wrestling coach, Ms. Gaunt, it likely would have been a fad, only to burn out like many other novel challenges. Through Ms. Gaunt’s encouragement and belief in Jack, he has come to believe in himself. After two years of participating in the school wrestling program, this self-confidence has now transcended wrestling and continues to re-affirm the value and power of teacher-student relationships.
When each student is valued as unique and relationships are strong, children are given the means to reach their full potential. The caring, insightful and compassionate teachers who dedicate many hours to afterschool clubs and teams recognize that, like all children, my children are unique. Their learning is not the same as others and they are inspired by different challenges. I am thankful to have had professionals teach and coach my children, who understand success is a purposeful coordination of academics, relationships, and a supported pursuit of individual passions.
Ryan Siemens (@ryanssiemens) is a Principal in Rocky View Schools, father to 3, and husband to a CBE Kindergarten teacher.