There is a lot to be said for a school that encourages learning at a pace best suited to each student. More than anything, during my time at Colin Macdonald Community School I felt more like an individual than I have at any other time during my academic career.
The growth of our son’s self-esteem and the confidence that goes with it has been very rewarding . With this confidence everything else, learning, play, interaction with others, all starts to fall into places.
We are so grateful to you for providing this wonderful, inspiring, and non-judgmental environment for our child and his peers. We can’t think of a better place to start a student’s “carreer”.
At his old school my son was pushed really hard,almost bullied into learning. He lost all his confidence and became very anxious about school. At CMCS we found a supportive environment where teachers recognize his learning style and work with it instead of criticized. He has become a confident learner, and he enjoys going to school. What a relief!
It is hard to count the way in which the Colin Macdonald School benefitted me. However, two words immediately come to mind: freedom and confidence. In my time at CMCS (my entire elementary school career) I was allowed and encouraged to direct my own learning, focus on aspects of the curriculum that interested me, and move at my own pace. The freedom I was given in my education, starting from a young age, continues to benefit me today in my university career. In my studies at Queen’s I have found that restating what you have learned is inadequate and that the ability to direct oneself and explore a topic with critical thought is essential. I feel that this ability stemmed from my early independence and freedom granted at CMCS.
The second term that I strongly identify with CMCS is confidence. Calling my teachers by their first names seemed irrelevant to my life when I graduated in grade eight. However, I feel the effects of this policy now. The ability to address a teacher by their first name and carry out a conversation from person to person, as opposed to from teacher to student, gave me an unknown confidence. My greatest skill since I have left CMCS has been the ease at which I can talk to people, both my peers as well as authority figures. I have the confidence to see teachers and professors, interviewers and supervisors, acquaintances and friends as my equals and people who can be easily addressed. The years I spent at CMCS continue to benefit my life today.
Back home, everyone wondered why a 5-year-old would want to go to school during vacations. Well, the reason why a 5-year-old would want to do anything is because it is fun and I was not the exception. In Colin Macdonald, I felt free, inspired and encouraged by my wonderful teacher, Anne Parker, to explore life and what interested me. I was not forced to learn, I wanted to learn. So, after class I would borrow dozens of books from the library and read for hours or follow their instructions for conducting little science experiments, cooking recipes and making plush toys.
Although I am only on my third year at McGill and have a lot of things I want to do before starting a family; I would like my children to attend a school that would offer them what Colin Macdonald offered me.
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