Wide-eyed into Open Arms

"Going to a new school is absolutely horrifying: a whole new unfamiliar environment, a new set of people to meet, as well as a new cast of teachers. All of this and more vanished from my head after my first day at ISN!

My new peers instantly and eagerly welcomed me. The students are open-minded, principled as well as caring. I wasn’t afraid to ask for a pencil or an eraser because my fellow lps were always happy to provide me with anything I needed. They also showed me around the campus while I was still learning my way around. I had forgotten my device but the school quickly lent me a laptop to use in my lesson.

Just like the students, the teachers come from a range of diverse backgrounds and life experiences. Every teacher I have interacted with has had such immense passion for teaching and helping others. Their enthusiasm is infectious! Since class sizes are so small, I always have the time to ask questions and teachers never fail to give an in-depth answer. It actually took me quite a while to get used to the small class sizes. In my previous school in Canada, every single subject would have me in a room with 30+ people. Contrarily, in ISN every class feels personal and every teacher is able to get to know their lps.

There was an adjustment period: at ISN we’re encouraged to call teachers by their first names and refer to students as learning partners (lps). While I found it hard to get used to it, I do think it creates a much more relaxed and free environment. By rejecting formalities, you feel much more at ease, and it makes asking questions less intimidating. Not only does this relax the lps, but it also reduces the “distance” between teachers and lps allowing for more meaningful connections.

Overall, ISN is an incredible centre for learning and connecting with a diverse range of people. I couldn't think of a better place to pursue my education!"

*ISN general manager/principal.
**ISN Year 9 learning partner.