The Introductory Essay 

Gladys Speers is a cramped community-minded public school located within the south-west end of Oakville, Ontario. Due to a tiny school population and quiet neighbourhood, the school was a sought-after place that many elderly teachers desired to reside for their final teaching years. However, this meant that rules were meant to be followed, and there were no exceptions. During years there, I adopted the mindset that there was a right way and a wrong way, unfortunately. Throughout my time at Gladys Speers, I realized the importance that friends have. The school has also shown me the importance of keeping connections with each other. 

Although I'm not particularly proud of it, I am quite judgmental of others, and I have a difficult time moving on from first impressions. Being raised in a small-scale community with teachers that were fixated on the way students should behave, it shaped me to come out as quite a rigid person. Mrs. Boocock was one such individual, who was rather firm on her rules. Her way of teaching left no room for creativity, and although she taught excellent manners; if I did not colour inside the lines, my work will not be placed on the wall for others to notice. Naptime was a key part of my kindergarten experience, and Mrs. Boocock was exceptionally firm about twenty minutes each day, however, I was quite the sleepy kid and slept almost an hour each time. She would decide to either wake me up and remind us of that nap time lasted the allotted time she deemed necessary, or she would call my mother and explain to her that I was not obeying her policies. Having these rules strictly enforced upon me all the time, changed my perspective on the world; morphing it into a black and white theme. 

Jeff, 2 

Having a group of friends that you can call your family is something that I find especially important. Since Gladys Speers was such a small school, the friends that I made and the kids I met were all family as they were the only people I knew. This influenced the way that I look at the world, as it taught me to accept people’s differences and to have tolerance towards others. Gladys Speers has brought me and my closest friends together since we have all been in the same boat. We all had similar experiences and troubles growing up in this school. This helped me and my friends draw even closer and helped us depend on one another. 

Gladys Speers has shown me the importance of staying connected to the ones I care about. Since the school only went up to grade 6, a fair amount of us were not able to see each other again, so I have learned how to stay connected with as many friends as possible, fortunately, through Gladys Speers’ after school programs, I was able to do that. The after-school programs were of all ages, so me and my friends were able to reconnect through various activities they ran. My time at Gladys impacted the way I see the world because it showed me how little time I have with people, and it made me realize how beneficial it is to keep connections with others. 

Furthermore, Gladys Speers is not just a school for me, but it was also a home. It showed me who I was as a person and revealed traits that I need to personally work on, but more so, Gladys Speers presented me with the importance of maintaining friendships, while also keeping long-lasting relationships with the ones I truly care about. This school certainly made me recognize the way I look at and interpret the world.