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Over the last couple of weeks we had a teacher candidate from Queen’s University with us – Margaret was kind enough to share some thoughts with us at the end of her placement…

As a Teacher Candidate I am afforded the wonderful opportunity to enter and experience a broad spectrum of educational environments.  I am incredibly fortunate that I also have some part in choosing my placements, searching for philosophies and practices which speak to my own understandings of education and educating.  It was easy for me to choose Compass.

In my short time here I have witnessed some truly exciting things. I have shared meals prepared and enjoyed by the whole community. I have taken part in great science experiments. I have played a computer game that one of the teens programmed himself!

I have been fortunate enough to sample briefly most aspects of Compass, but the most gratifying experience was being able to fully invest in one small aspect.  For the past two weeks I have offered my services – and those of my camera – to run classes and tutorials on videography and photography.  The results have been incredible. Not only have some of the photographs been truly artistic and impressive, but the enthusiasm incited has been overwhelming.  Watching teens light up at the opportunity to handle and test out professional equipment is one of my top experiences in education.  I can’t share the actual experience but I can share the product of this specific adventure in self-directed learning.  I hope the photos and video we produced can give a better sense of what I’m poorly trying to convey with words.

Thank you to the staff who’ve supported me, the volunteers who’ve suffered my intrusion on their classes, the parents who have offered their own perspectives, and most of all to the teens who have welcomed me into the community and reignited my passion for education.  I’m so grateful.

- Margaret Donahoe