As we wind down our Fall Term, I would like to recognize and thank everyone who is a part of our Compass Community. From staff, to kids and their families, to our donors, you are all integral to the vibrant learning space that Compass is. We still have work ahead of us as we move towards sustainability, but we have made huge steps in that direction and are delighted to announce that Term 2 is planned and ready to roll!
Why is Compass so important? We have two stores to share from Oliver and Keshava.
My name is Oliver and I am a member of Compass. I have been fortunate to have had the option of either homeschooling or going to school all my life. All through my younger years, I loved the freedom homeschooling offered and was astonished when I heard that my friends in school only got 2 days off. In grade 7 I was interested to see what school was like, so I decided to try a year. The most important thing I learnt in that whole year was that I belonged as a homeschooler. As the homeschool community where I live shrank down to only a couple of us, Compass became an essential part of my learning.
At Compass, I belong to a community of amazing people. We take classes together, have in depth conversations about life, and grow as human beings. Compass allows us teens to be fully responsible for our learning, which is a vital element of our education that school would never support. Had Compass shut down, many of the amazing people who thrive in this environment would have had to go back to school, which would have involved being bullied, bored and sick of life. As for me, I would have continued homeschooling. Without this amazing community. Without fascinating classes. It would still have been much better than school, but I would have been lacking that vital sense of community that Compass offers.
I look forward to Compass being around for many years to come!
Since a very young age, I reflected on this question. What is education? Is it only about going to school? No, it is not. I believe that the true definition of education is a four letter word, ‘Life’. I think that education, I mean the kind of education you get in public school, is like a box, and you are stuck in it, having no chance or time to learn anything else. I was in public school and it did not fit me at all. I had to learn the same thing in the same way as everyone else and it just did not make any sense to me. Homework gave me no time for myself and my passions that I had outside of the school curriculum. I mean sure, core courses are important, but I believe that public schools should be more opened up to giving students a chance and time to also learn other things that might be of interest to them.
After having completed middle school in a public school system, I wanted a different kind of education for my high school. I knew I was different and did not fit in the crowd, I was passionate about playing my instrument and getting better at it with dedicated practice. I knew this is what I wanted to be – a musician. I was aware that high school in a public system meant a lot of homework as I saw my sister studying late hours everyday and knew it would not be possible for me to not have time for my instrument. I wanted to be in a high school that would support my interest and my passion for learning, true learning as I saw it.
After much research, my mother finally found a school called Compass Center for Self-Directed learning. After reading its philosophy, I was thrilled that there was such a school! We moved to Ottawa from Vancouver so I could gain from such a unique system that supports education differently. Joining Compass freed me from the “box”, and allowed me to enroll in subjects of my interests along with joining a community of friends who were in a similar situation as me, wanting a different kind of experience of education. I thought,”This is what school should be like!” And I would not have had this opportunity if my mom had not made the enormous effort to move to Ottawa. so, a giant thanks to her!
I would like to conclude with one of my favorite quotes on learning that I found on the internet – “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”
Thank you for taking the time to stop by, see everyone in the new year and Term 2!
Chair, Compass Board of Directors