Speech Night, Study Skills Pay Off

This is Speech Night season for the elementary students at our schools and for pure pent-up energy and excitement, you cannot match a homeroom of our students in those anxious moments just before the start of the presentations.

For those of you who joined the school later in your child’s schooling, you might not know that Speech Night begins in kindergarten when the students work as a group to sing songs and recite poems for their parents in the gym. When the students start their “all-by-themselves” speeches in Grade 1, the process of researching, writing, memorizing and presenting a speech is consistent for the rest of their days with us. Variables include the length of the speech (increases as the student progresses), the topic (might be theme-related such as The Medieval Era or a topic of the student’s choice) and the quantity and type of research materials used. They get so good at it by the time they are in Grade 12, they actually start to pretend to not even like Speech Night anymore!

Like all of the skills our students gain, however, it is at the post-secondary level when the Mentor experience really pays off. I know that I say this all the time but it is true AND we get messages like this from Mentor and TSS students all the time. So if you do not believe me, please consider this message that was sent this week to Executive Director Mr. Philbrook from one of his HS cricket team players who is now at Queen’s University in Kingston:

I hope everything is going well at Mentor! It feels so weird to be an alumni now! But on a side note, I wanted to tell you that being at Mentor these past 5 years has really made a positive impact on my university career thus far. I don’t think any of us really realize it until we get here, but Mentor played a huge role in helping us do well. I handle the workload much better than a lot of my peers, largely because the enormous amount of work we have here isn’t as drastic a difference from what we had at Mentor, compared to other schools. And it felt so good to walk into my midterms in December, and see all those desks lined up in rows in the gym, and NOT freak out (it’s old hat at this point!), while so many other kids weren’t used to it. So I just wanted to let you know. Mentor played a huge role in my ability to handle university, and even though I never tucked my shirt in or cleaned my paint-smeared tie and kilt, I absolutely appreciate the education I received there. So thanks a bunch sir!

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College/TEAM School

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