The Dragon Academy made me into what I am today. The overall experience was life altering. When entering the school I had low self esteem, a poor work ethic, and I felt like I would never amount to anything. The kind staff at the Dragon took time to work with me. They helped me foccus on my strengths so that I could combat my weaknesses. Their goal was for me to succeed, and they did everything in their power to make me successful in all areas of my life.
When I attended the Dragon Academy I felt I was situated in a positive and caring environment. I felt comfortable to go to the faculty with any problems I was having, because I know that we were on the same team. Together, we were able to accomplish more than I could alone. Their was great comradery amongst the students, and while we may have disagreeing opinions in classes, we were able to learn to deal with these differences and keep them seperate from our feelings. It was great training for the world beyond school.
The principle of the school, Dr. Meg Fox, instilled in me a passion for learning to solve problems that I keep with me today. This thirst for knowledge motivates me in all of my action, and gives me a purpose in life "To learn more about the world so that I can make the world a better place". Without the Dragon, I don't know if I would have found this purpose. All staff at the Dragon felt like they respected my opinions, that they were their to teach but also to learn. This was well supplemented by the socratic teaching style and allowed those that wanted to learn to exceed far beyond what we would have been capable of at other schools.
The Dragon Academy worked off the standard Ontario curriculum, but they supplemented it for what the class was capable of. I believe the Dragon Academy did a great job at tailoring the education to the individual, and giving the support that each person needed. The Dragon Academy successfully taught me how to learn. When I arrived at University, I knew what it was like to disagree with others, to work with my peers to solve problems, to dive deeper p when something was difficult, and most importantly to ask for help when it is needed. While some of peers in university were clearly very intelligent, and many went to prestigious high schools, no one shared my ability to learn.
While the actual extracurriculars at the Dragon Academy were sparse, the supportive student body, and dedicated staff, helped to find something for anyone. For example, I had several friends at the Dragon Academy that were talented soccer players. While the school had no soccer team at the time, they were strongly encouraged to follow their passions, and found other teams that they could join. The school is located in the heart of Toronto, and really uses this to their advantage. There is already so much going on in the city, you just need something to help you find what you are looking for.
The student body was a small but dedicated group. Quickly after arriving we became to have a similar relationship to that of a second family - Especially within my class. At other schools there are so many people, and people generally find a group that they fit in with... or they don't. At the Dragon Academy, while there are less students, everyone is there together and you don't need to find where you belong. Everyone tended to bring their own perspective, and both inside and outside of class we were able to share who we are and learn about others. In general students got along very well. Occasionally, there were disputes between students, but they were handled in an effective manner.
My time at the Dragon Academy were some of the best years of my life. I had extreme autonomy over my studies, and I had a dedication that let me learn and absorb everything I could. I participated in many activities outside of school, and had a busy social life with my friends both from the Dragon Academy and other areas in my life. However, it would have been nice if there were more organized and optional events for the classes to spend time together. I would definitely say the Dragon Academy is not for everyone, but if it sounds like it could be right for you good I would strongly recommend going in for a visit.
Connecting with past students after graduation feels like seeing members of my family. Even when I see the students that I was not the closest with, it feels nice to reminisce over our shared experiences. I try to reach out to people every couple of months, and generally see people from the Dragon Academy four times a year. I feel closer to them than most of my other friends from that age.
The school is in a great neighborhood, where it is safe and centrally located. Beyond that the school really takes advantage of their location. We use local parks, have classes at the Royal Ontario Museum, AGO, and other prominent buildings in the city. The school is very close to the subway, allowing for commuters from across the city, and making the possibility of Toronto centered fieldtrips significantly more feasible.
Go for a visit. When I first heard about the school I was very skeptical, it was only through meeting the staff and seeing the classes that I was able to understand that it was the right school for me. The Dragon Academy will be the first to admit that it is not the right school for everyone, but if it is right for you it could completely change your life.
The Dragon Academy would have bent backwards to help me be successful. I was very nervous about choosing a program for university, and spent significant time with the staff to determine where I should apply. I got into everywhere I applied, and again worked with the staff to determine what I really wanted. After getting in, a teacher even helped me to pick my courses for my first year. They were willing to do anything to help you be successful, you just needed to tell them what success looked like to you.