Inside the Skin of Another Lion

This week, I am away from our campus at a school in Ontario. I am chairing an accreditation team of a dozen educators drawn from across Canada. It is my duty to offer my services as part of the larger family of independent schools in our national association, CAIS (Canadian Accredited Independent Schools). Every seven years member-schools complete an exhaustive self-evaluation, outlining strengths and areas for improvement in all aspects of a school’s operations. The school is then visited by a team of educational specialists. They investigate and validate the school’s claims, by holding them up to national benchmarks and the latest educational best practices. Why do schools go through such a process?

LCC is a member of this national association of close to 100 independent schools. Through a rigorous accreditation process, each independent school is forced to openly evaluate its core strengths and challenges.  Internally, faculty, staff and board members evaluate and reflect upon the school’s implementation of a dozen key educational standards, from academics and co-curricular life to finance, governance and administrative leadership.

It has been an interesting and challenging week. Our team has met many dedicated faculty and staff while witnessing the daily routines of school life through the lens of a unique learning community. This includes a different local context, unique routines, approaches and special areas of focus. However, the connection between great teachers and the energy and achievement of students is a constant that is impressive when done well, regardless of school setting. I have seen many memorable learning moments this week in students from kindergarten to grade 12. By being at another school I am refreshed by belief in the magic energy of children and their deep desire to learn, develop and emerge. In helping to shape the next generation, I am also reminded that all teachers possess a great privilege.

Sometimes we need to leave our own backyard for such poignant and motivating reminders to have impact. As it is for our students, meaningful growth comes with meaningful experiences. I am pleased I was able to crawl into the skin of another lion. –Chris Shannon, Headmaster

 

Student Exchange Melbourne: A Once In A Lifetime Experience!

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I have now been in Australia for five weeks and I am reaching the very end of my stay. I have had an amazing time in this beautiful country; I have seen so many wonderful things. When I arrived the first thing I noticed was the smell of the ocean.  School also has shorter days and more periods. We are always outside as to get from one class to another you need to actually go outside and walk to the next class. People here eat lunch outside unlike Montreal where we spend most of our time inside during winter.

 

During my stay in Australia I have been to the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The water is bright blue and the sand is white. The water is always the perfect temperature. There where many different beaches, so if I felt more active, I could go to one with more waves…if I wanted to relax I could just go to a beach with little or no waves. One thing that I like about Australia is that there are all kinds of climates: there is desert, ocean, and rain forests and in winter there can even be snow at the top of some mountains. I was lucky enough to experience three of those climates. If I could stay here for just a little bit longer, I might have been able to witness some Aussie snow. But I have heard that it’s nowhere as good as Canadian snow!

 

I play a lot of sports such as football, hockey and rugby. Coming to Australia I was looking forward to playing a bit of rugby. When I arrived people told me that rugby was a winter sport and that I wasn’t here for that season. I had to choose a sport to do while I was here, so I decided to start a new sport. I joined a long line of champions in the rowing team at Carey Grammar School.  Rowing is a big thing in Australia, kind of like hockey is in Canada. All the best athletes are in rowing as a summer sport. If you are not rowing you are playing cricket, and I definitely didn’t want to play cricket.

 

My stay in Australia is drawing to a close, I have been here for almost six weeks, I have made many friends and memories and it will be hard to leave them behind. Another thing that I will miss is my great host family. All and all, this was a once in a lifetime experience and I enjoyed it very much. I would strongly recommend it for other students next year. – Zachary-Pierce Pfefferle ’16

Student Exchange: Colegio Anglo Colombiano

I can’t find the perfect way to describe how amazing my student exchange has been. Not once have I regretted my decision to travel to Colombia, nor to extend my stay an extra two weeks. After only a day, I felt like I was a part of Gabriela’s family and that I belonged in the school. I was welcomed with open arms and have made so many lifelong friends and met so many interesting and kind people. The bonds that I have created here are irreplaceable and truly incredible.

 

This experience has  broadened my horizons because I had the opportunity to learn from teachers from a different culture, with different teaching styles. I also had the opportunity to interact with and make new friends from all around Colombia since I had the chance to travel around the country.

 

The process of applying to go on an exchange abroad can be a little scary, especially for someone like me who hasn’t really been away from my family for long periods of time, but once I stepped off the plane all my nervousness turned to excitement.

 

The eight weeks I spent in Colombia were packed with activities. I went to school for the first three weeks at Colegio Anglo Colombiano, which is an international school located in Bogotá, Colombia. Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and in my opinion it is the city that never sleeps. On the weekends there are parties both Friday and Saturday and they dance until morning. There is an abundance of people, cars, places and things to visit. The school is beautiful; when the students aren’t in the classrooms they’re outside. All the hallways which connect the classes  are outdoors.

 

After my first three weeks, Gabriela, her family and I traveled to Mesa de Yeguas, Barranquilla and Cartagena for Gabriela’s spring break. These were all beautiful tropical destinations that I was privileged to be able to visit. To anyone considering doing a student exchange, I strongly encourage it. This has been an incredible experience that I will never forget. – Mikaela Ludwick ’16

La jolie France – Semaine 4: Lille et la crème chantilly

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Ce weekend, nous sommes allés à Lille pour une réunion avec le groupe « Les Écoles du Désert », et pour voir les cousins de Marie. Les Écoles du Désert est une organisation qui aide les enfants qui habitent au Burkina Faso; pour distribuer les outils nécessaires pour l’école, comme des cahiers, des stylos, etc. Les enfants entre onze ans et treize ans peuvent gagner la chance d’y aller. Il y a environ soixante-quinze enfants qui gagnent, un dans chaque magasin d’une chaine en France et en Belgique. Il y a deux ans, Marie est allée aider les enfants au Burkina Faso. Chaque année, ils ont une réunion avec tout le monde qui est allé aider les enfants. Pendant la réunion, on a regardé un film des enfants qui y sont allés cette année. Après le film, il y avait des apéritifs et des desserts français.

 

Après cette journée intéressante, nous sommes allés chez les cousins de Marie. Ils habitent dans une ville qui s’appelle Louvil. On a dormi chez eux et le lendemain nous avons marché dans la petite ville. Dans les rues, il y avait des gens qui vendaient des choses dont ils n’avaient plus besoin et quatre manèges. Léonora, la petite sœur de Marie, a acheté des bracelets à la vente. Après notre tour, nous sommes allés sur les manèges et nous avons mangé des crêpes et des gaufres. C’était très amusant et très bizarre qu’il y ait tout ça dans une petite rue.

 

 

Cette semaine la maman de Marie, Emmanuelle, m’a montré comment faire la vraie crème Chantilly. C’était magnifique et vraiment délicieux. D’abord, on doit acheter la crème liquide entière et un bol froid; s’il n’est pas froid, ça ne va pas transformer en crème épaisse. Après, on la mélange avec un batteur électrique pour qu’elle soit plus épaisse. On peut ajouter du sucre ou un colorant alimentaire si ça te plait! - Ilana Singer ’16

La jolie France – Semaine 3: Notre amitié pour la vie

Capture d¹écran 2014-04-01 à 20.06.59Après deux semaines, je suis vraiment à l’aise dans la famille de Marie. Je suis aussi vraiment habituée à la vie française. Tous les amis de Marie sont très gentils, et presque tout le monde au Lycée m’aide à trouver des classes sans hésitation. Marie, et quelques-uns de ses amis me prennent pour déjeuner à Senlis trois fois par semaine. C’est dans cette ville-là que se situe le Lycée St Vincent. Il y a deux restaurants qu’ils aiment beaucoup. Un de ces restaurants s’appelle Kebab, ou tu peux manger des sandwichs à la viande, et une petite crêperie que j’ai bien aimée. Avec la famille de Marie, j’ai découvert la nourriture traditionnelle de la France. Ils m’ont fait gouter des fromages, une variété des pains, et, bien sûr, beaucoup des desserts.

 

Cette semaine, avec le lycée, je suis allée au Château de Versailles avec les correspondants espagnols. Ils étaient très sociables et gentils. On a visité toutes les pièces magnifiques du château et le jardin. Le château était magnifique, toutes les pièces étaient construites avec différentes couleurs des marbres qui brillent au soleil qui passe par les fenêtres. Le jardin entoure le château, et ça lui donne du caractère. Quand j’ai marché dans le jardin, j’ai observé tous les arbres qui sont parfaitement coupés et les fleurs qui poussent. Il y avait plusieurs de canaux dans le jardin où il y avait des canards qui nagent calmement. Il y avait des petits restaurants entre les arbres. J’ai acheté une crème glacée et j’ai marché dans le jardin pour admirer sa beauté.

 

À la fin de la semaine, Marie et son père m’ont amenée à Paris pour voir tous les monuments importants, et pour prendre des photos. On a passé toute la journée dehors. On a marché pendant cinq heures, en posant devant tous les monuments.  Le Pont des Arts était la dernière chose qu’on a visité. C’était la chose la plus importante de tout ce qu’on a vu pendant la journée. On a acheté un cadenas et on a écrit Marie+Ilana et on l’a mis sur le pont pour notre amitié pour la vie. Notre journée à Paris était très amusante, on était des mannequins pour la journée! – Ilana Singer ’16