Toronto, ON | Grades 9 - 12 | Shortlist
Teaching at OAT - Ontario Academy of Technology is very good in general. There is a high quality of instruction because there is a small number of students in class and teachers can give particular attention for them. Teachers love what they do and the study environment helps them to work the best they can. There is a good communication between teachers and students. There is respect between them, but despite of this, the relationship is very kind. The feedback received is very important and is constant. My son is allways challenged and receives support to conquer more and more, since the acceptance into a university is the dream of most of the students at OAT and the teachers understand this, providing the necessary advice everytime.
All of the teachers at OAT are excellent. I have never in my life seen this kind of service or professionalism from any education based organization public or private. All of the teachers spent most of their lives in the field they are teaching in. Hamed, who teaches the physics and many of the math courses, has a double masters in physics and teaching and has taught in the Middle East, Britain, and Toronto. He has an amazing way of making sure that everyone is learning at a speed that suits them best so no one ever feels left behind. My calculus teacher has a computer science degree from the university of Toronto and is also excellent. Teachers also have the best board notes I've seen.
Hamed knew all I wanted was a passing grade and he helped me achieve more than that by playing to my interests and making Math so much better than I ever thought it could be! The dynamic between students and teachers was informal in the most respectful way possible. Boundaries and values were set and never crossed and yet the students and admin got along really well. I can say that Hamed was one of the most passionate teachers I have ever met, specifically in his field but also in so many others. He WANTS his students to show interest and finds fun and interesting ways to get them there. He strives for true understanding at a deeper level and will take the time to achieve it with all of his students individually, at their own pace.
I can comment on both the math and science instruction at OAT and believe both to be excellent. The teachers are highly qualified. They are also adept at providing the appropriate type of instruction to accommodate students' learning styles. This is not "one size fits all" teaching. I particularly like the fact that students are expected to meet a high standard of achievement and are given the support they need to do so through their own efforts. The workload is significant, but not unreasonable. There are very few "slow periods," however, so students should expect to be putting in time on the subject virtually every day, whatever the frequency of their scheduled classes. The frequency of tests feels appropriate, as does the pace at which the courses move.
My son has only completed Grade 9, but so far the teachers at OAT seem great. The teachers are young and have a good energy with the kids. Some teachers are permanent staff and others are hired, part-time per class. I've noticed the teachers are specific to each subject. For example, the Math / Science teacher is one person and the language-based subjects like English / History is another teacher. Technology, Computer Science, and French have part-time teachers. The teachers are dedicated to subject areas. Unlike with other schools we've attended, the OAT teachers are specialized (the French teacher isn't going to teach Math for instance). For my son's French class, he had a lovely teacher who had just moved to Canada from France. I was told that the teachers are all qualified with degrees.