The teaching staff is par excellence. The enthusiasm that the teachers have for the students is unrivalled and unmatched. They make themselves available to the students after classes for additional instruction. They are all involved in the extracurricular activities of the school. One teacher, Bev, even attends non school and out of town events with her camera to capture the kids off campus. These teachers want the kids to succeed in academics and in their life. They lead by example. I was listening to the principle speak about his goals for the students. He drew the Parthenon on the whiteboard. He spoke about each pillar representing one of his values and goals for the type of students that he wants to graduate. I can not remember all of the names that he had for the pillars. The ones that I do remember are to graduate students who have a sense of belonging to a community, that have a social conscience, and are global citizens.
I must admit, on that first day when we registered our eldest son and went from one teacher to the next to figure out his classes, I first thought they looked like a motley crew, until we realised their passion, commitment and genuine care. I still smile when I remember my son saying he’s not really interested in choir singing. Jim (Mr. Epp...as nobody has ever called him in years) leaned forward, put his elbow on the table and said: “Sure...if you can beat me at arm-wrestling.” The teachers were/are fantastic! They have small classes to work with and they put enormous energy into their subjects and instruction. Every subject is turned into an applied science, where the students are given the “life application” of what they’re taught. There is ample time for review and discussions after hours and a lot of effort goes into additional mentoring to those who need it.
Our son appreciated the small class sizes and the amount of attention he received from each teacher. Our daughter appreciated the tutorial periods that all teachers offered. Both kids were thrilled with all of the out of classroom learning that Rosthern Junior College offered. Our son especially appreciated his trip to Alabama for the Alternative Learning Service Opportunity (ALSO) week in his grade 12 year. Our daughter appreciated the global perspectives she gained through her experiences in British Colombia, Alabama and Guatemala through her ALSO experiences. Our daughter was able to participate in the first year of the new curriculum program, Imagine, that utilizes experienced based learning, with regular and frequent out of classroom activities to augment the traditional classroom based learning. Some of the out of classroom activities included 'living library' events, meeting with agricultural producers on their farms to learn about environmental sustainability, and visiting social service based organizations in Saskatoon. Both our kids benefited from the relationships with their teachers. Our daughter commented many times about the positive one on one times she had with several teachers outside of the classroom.