Toronto, ON | Grades 7 - 12 | Shortlist
My experience at Metro Prep is something I will remember and be grateful for for the rest of my life moving forward. The amount of care and support I felt from my teachers and classmates was something that I never experienced at any of my previous schools. Because the school is small, students have the opportunity to connect with every teacher (whether you take their class or not), as well as students within all grades. I do feel the school prepared me well for my life now and university does not seem as overwhelming as I thought it would be. There is nothing I would change because I could not have asked for a better school experience. I still miss Metro and come back to visit when I have the chance.
At Metro Prep, there is a sense of mutual respect between the students and the administration. Although I graduated, many of the faculty there are people that I still look up to. I really believe that without Metro I would not have the confidence in myself that I have today. The administration is made up of extremely caring people who get to know their students on a personal level and because of this they instill a very positive school environment. During my time at Metro, I have always felt that the faculty have handled situations justly, and knew I could communicate openly with them, free from judgement.
I am immensely happy with the quality of instruction I received during my time at Metro. Because the teachers get to know their students on a personal level, they are able to adjust to each student’s type of learning (visual, aural, verbal, etc). The teachers at Metro are all passionate about what they teach, and I think that that helps the students a lot; when your teacher is passionate about the subject, the students become passionate as well. I think some would consider the dynamic between students and teachers informal due to the fact that the teachers go by their first names. But for me, it made the teachers easier to get to know. Going by their first names took down the barrier of superiority. All of the teachers and the rest of the faculty have had a positive impact on both my academic and personal development.
The academic environment at Metro, although being competitive was also not overwhelming and did not feel like everyone was pushing to be better than each other. Its competitiveness simply made everyone want to work harder and be better in order to reach their fullest potential. I did feel appropriately challenged and although the classes were demanding, the teachers were extremely supportive and nurturing. I felt well-prepared going into university because of the style of the classes at Metro. Many teachers did lectures, which taught me from a young age how to take my own notes. It also taught me how to listen to what the teacher was saying, understand it, and also write it all down in order to study from my own notes and my own wording of notes.
There are many different extracurriculars at Metro and that is something I have always loved about the school. From grades seven to twelve, anyone is welcome to join extracurriculars and the environment is always free from judgment. In grade seven I joined the volleyball team with no experience outside of gym class. Although I was not very good, the coach worked to help me improve my skills and by grade twelve I became captain of the team. This to me shows that the faculty at Metro see potential in all their students and help you want to be better at anything you’re passionate about.
Something that stands out to me the most is that students who go to Metro are from all over the world. This made me learn a lot about different cultures and lifestyles and I am grateful I got to spend most of my secondary education with people from all walks of life. The school is smaller, compared to other schools I have attended. There were around two 250 students. This size is small but it gives the opportunity for students of all grades to talk to one another. Students at Metro were very friendly and willing to talk to one another, and there weren’t really any “cliques” in the school. I also found that when I was there, all of the students were extremely caring, and we all wanted to help each other succeed, rather than compete with one another.
I loved all six years that I spent at Metro and feel extremely grateful that I got to spend so much time there. When thinking about what contributed to my quality of life, the thing that sticks out most are the people (students and faculty). The people I got to meet at Metro are now my family and I know that Metro is and will always be like a second home. During lessons - teachers always made sure theirs were very engaging and got students involved in the discussion. The classes aren’t easy and therefore students do get stressed, (like in any other high school), but what relieves the stress is knowing that the teachers are always there for you and whenever you need help, they’ll do everything to make sure you can reach your fullest potential.
The fact that Metro remains a family even after you graduate is what stands out the most in my opinion. I remember being in grade seven, sitting in class and an old student walking into the class and the teachers face lighting up because they were so excited to see a student from the past. Throughout my years at Metro this happened more and soon I got to know the alumni. Being an alumni now, I love going back to visit and see the younger grades, knowing that they are getting the education I got and get to experience all the Metro has to offer. The parents are involved in the school life, being a student there, I got to know my fellow classmates' parents. I do keep in contact with many of the students who went there during my time at Metro. They are all like my brothers and sisters and although our lives are very different now, I know that they are always people I will have in my life and I am immensely grateful for them all. We all grew up together in a sense, and we will continue to grow together.
My last year at Metro was the schools last year at that location. September 2019, Metro started the new school year at a new location so it is hard for me to say what the surrounding neighborhood is like. I have visited though and from what I can tell the school is in a great location where students are free to venture beyond or stay on the school grounds.
It is hard for me to talk about my experience within the application process because I don’t recall a lot from it. My dad went to the school in the eighties and because he didn’t feel my brother reaching his fullest potential at his previous school, he called the principal and asked if there was a possibility for my brother to attend. The principal remembered exactly who my dad was and was so excited at the thought of his kid attending the school as well. My brother went to the school a year before me and absolutely loved it. He convinced me to come for a tour and meet all his teachers and friends. During my tour I met many of the teachers and sat down and talked with the principal. I knew then and there that this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my secondary education.
I felt incredibly supported throughout the university application process. The faculty takes steps into making sure you are well prepared for your life outside of Metro and your post-secondary program. The guidance council takes the time to meet with every single graduating student, sitting down with them to look into different schools. The guidance counselor gets to know the students on a personal level which became extremely helpful during your university application process. She not only looks at the students grades but looks at their personalities to figure out where students will be happy and excel in their program. I was definitely given guidance early enough on, and I felt extremely well prepared for when the time actually came for me to apply. Although I miss Metro, I’m grateful for everything they did to help me prepare for my life beyond secondary school.