Ottawa, ON | Grades NS - 8 | Shortlist
Teachers at BHMS are masters at getting each child to reach his or her potential. They are passionate about what they teach, and bring out that passion in the kids on a regular basis. Pupils are encouraged to investigate and discover beyond the usual classroom setting, and it's not unusual for teachers to give additional work because the children have asked for more. The kids at BHMS develop a love of learning that follows them for the rest of their lives.
When I attended BHMS, there was a spectrum of teaching quality that truly depended on which specific class you were in. During Grades 1-3, I was fortunate to have a teacher who was not only incredible caring, but also very observant - she had a huge positive impact on my personal development. As a young child, I was quite shy, but she noticed that ironically I flourished in leadership roles. She would pair me with other students when working on certain projects, which gave me the opportunity to come out of my shell and develop more confidence amongst my peers. In my Grade 4-6 class, this teacher continued to have a positive impact on my personal development, though his academic knowledge on a few subjects was perhaps not as strong as others. I began to feel unchallenged and not as stimulated as in prior years, leading to my decision to transfer to the public school system's Gifted program.
I was very happy with the instruction at BHS. I had very positive relationships with all of my teachers. I think I connected with them more because they would teach in smaller groups and would wander around the classroom, talking to us one-on-one when needed, so I was able to develop a more personal relationship (that was still one of respect). None of my teachers ever penalized us in a severe way, they simply had us try our best and as such I was not afraid of them.
My children have met very good teachers in general. We were very impressed by their fine qualities, in setting up high standards for the students and in supporting the students with love and patience to master the learning. The teaching approch was very good for my children as they did built up very strong learning skills through their years in the BHMS.
At Bishop Hamilton there are Specialists and Directors. As a student, you spend time with the Directors, and take specialized courses with the Specialists such as science, French, music and religion. This was a really effective teaching system because each teacher was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the subject they were teaching. This really allowed for the class to go beyond just the basics. In fact, we often went a couple of grades beyond our level because of quality of knowledge and enthusiasm each teacher had for their students. A huge benefit to attending BHMS were the small class sizes. I spent a lot of time with my teachers which allowed for the education to become very individualized. My teachers really wanted to know my strengths, weaknesses, where I needed to improve, and how I could learn best. They invested a lot of time talking to me and my parents about how I was doing, what I could do better, and how they were going to make it happen. If there were problems that I was experiencing, my teachers could tell right away and would always spend extra time with me to resolve the problem - whether it was not understanding a concept, writing an essay or doing a math question. Having that immediate support was critical in being able to secure a solid foundation of education. However, not only were the teachers immersed in the teaching of academics in the classroom, they were really active in the community and in organizing enriching outside-of-the-classroom activities. These really helped me develop as a person - I learned how to work in teams effectively, take leadership and responsibility, the importance of giving-back and so much more. I truly believe that without my teachers at BHMS I could not have done these things. The whole experience was shaped by them and I think this is one of the things that sets BHMS apart from other schools.