Agnes Irwin Featured in Main Line Neighbors
Parents of girls know that change can be constant during the adolescent years. At The Agnes Irwin School, we believe that all girls thrive when they are given space to use their voices, discover their passions, and lead.
We are still inspired by the words of Miss Agnes Irwin, who would ask each student at the end of the day, "What did you do to make a difference today?" Our Middle School Leadership Keys empower each girl to seek and define her own impact as she grows her capacity for agency, confidence, inclusivity, and empathy.
The Agnes Irwin Middle School Leadership Keys
We define each of these keys with the following student-friendly language:
- Agency: Leaders know what they can control and use their skills and abilities to positively impact their communities.
- Confidence: Leaders know their strengths and are driven by a sense of purpose.
- Inclusivity: Leaders accept, celebrate, and make space for all people and new ideas.
- Empathy: Leaders push themselves to take on someone else’s perspective and find ways to be supportive.
The Leadership Keys curriculum is woven into lessons in all middle school core subject areas as well as distinct programming throughout the year. Through small group discussions in our Parliament advisory spaces, our girls have the chance to explore their own identities, evaluate their comfort with taking intellectual risks, reflect on how they have made others feel valued and connected, practice empathetic and active listening, and discuss causes that they are passionate about.
Parents play a critical role in reinforcing the traits of Agency, Confidence, Inclusivity, and Empathy at home. Model empathy and inclusivity by getting involved in community service projects with your daughter. When she comes home talking about a conflict with a friend, ask your daughter to consider the friend’s perspective. To support your daughter’s confidence, notice and name when she is resilient and when she tries something new and fails. In fact, narrate for her when you try something new for yourself and it does not go as planned. Take time at the dinner table to reinforce family values and talk through the many ways girls can unstick themselves from a difficult problem. When girls see their parents model these traits in authentic ways, they develop their own scripts to replicate at school and in adulthood.