Beamsville, ON | Grades 9 - 12 | Shortlist
I found the teachers to be passionate, knowledgeable, always well-prepared as well as professional while being very personable. They inspired us to achieve our best and provided help and support when needed. With smaller class sizes, the teachers are able to connect with the students and you get to know the teachers well as a student body (the Geography teacher who spins on the podium, the Biology teacher that tells the best stories - and the worst puns - and the History teacher who gets so excited that you have to watch for spit flying). I felt the teachers worked hard and put their students' needs first. The quality of teaching at Great Lakes is constantly improving and there is a clear commitment to providing support.
All of the teachers at Great Lakes are very friendly and they take the time to get to know each student on an individual level. The dynamic between students and teachers is generally very warm, and more on the informal side. Because of the small school size, the teachers are always available and easy to track down if you need anything from them. The teachers genuinely care about the students and they go above and beyond for their students. For example, they regularly hold study hall so any student can get extra help after school. One positive experience was in a particularly difficult science class. I remember it being the first time that I took ownership of my grades and I felt like I wanted to study more so that I could learn the material and do well. I think that this approach helped to prepare me for university.
The teaching in the school is fairly good. I believe that my daughter receives the tutoring and feedback she deserves. However, I discovered that as parents, there is a need to work in close collaboration with the teachers and not leave the entire monitoring of the child's performance to the teachers. The use of the Edsby gives the parents the opportunity to follow up with the performance of the student and speak with the individual teachers where and when necessary. Of course, there are some subjects that I feel the school could find teachers who are well versed in, as this will help further enhance the quality of teaching that GLCHS has in those subjects.
Personally, I think the teaching at Great Lakes is great. Since it’s a small school, it allows students to spend more time with teachers one on one and teachers are very open in giving extra help to students if needed. When my daughter had challenges with some of her subjects, she would stay in afterschool to ask questions and the teachers were able to provide her the help she needed. The teachers are not only passionate and knowledgeable about their subject, but also about the students as well. They take it upon themselves to not only equip students academically but also morally and spiritually, which I believe is most important when preparing them for the real world and university. The result is that my daughter has already received an early offer of admission from the University of Toronto to study Economics (her first choice of university and first choice course of study). The school also further nurtured her talent in creative writing for which she has received a number of awards.