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A Hidden Curriculum

Photo 2012-09-05 7 38 00 AMEach year for the last three I have met with our Grade 12s to get their feedback and perspective on their time at St. Clement’s. It is vital that we are constantly seeking evidence to ensure the positive impact of the St. Clement’s experience- both academically and personally.

This morning I woke up to find an email from an alumna that made me smile and reminded me of another group who can articulate our School’s impact.

Gemma Cox, graduate of 2006, wrote the following to me:

I’m writing this after studying for my medical licensing exam! It’s in two weeks, and trying to remember all of medicine for one test is like trying to take a drink from a fire hose. I’d been getting ready to call it a night when I saw a link to SCS’ Youtube channel on my Facebook feed. I couldn’t help but check it out, and it’s reminded me of what a special place St. Clement’s is. I didn’t quite realize it at the time (adolescence!), but looking back I’m so grateful for the experience I had there. With each new academic challenge, I grow more and more aware of how important the academic foundation I gained at St. Clement’s has been. In medicine we talk about the concept of a “hidden curriculum” quite a bit – beyond the explicit teaching of knowledge and skills – in reference to what is taught by example day to day. It is the implicit lessons I learned from teachers and students alike while at SCS that have carried me through my career so far. I learned to be disciplined, to work hard, to be assertive and ask questions, and most importantly, to value my education. I’ve recently been accepted to complete a 5-year residency in anesthesiology at the University of Toronto, and after that I plan on sub-specializing in Paediatric Intensive Care. I’ve become very involved in medical education, and hope to complete a Masters in MedEd over the course of my residency. To many of my friends, this amount of study (remember we’ve already done 8 years), seems completely insane, but to me it’s just following my passion. SCS gave me the clarity and fortitude to do that.

Anyway, I just wanted to reach out and say thanks!

St. Clement’s is a school that believes strongly in the importance of academic excellence and, as a small school with an intermingled community from Grades 1-12, we are blessed with an impactful hidden curriculum that models intellectual curiosity, courage and compassion.

I feel blessed every day working at St. Clement’s with such a dedicated staff and outstanding girls and young women; however, this morning’s email from Gemma made me feel even more fortunate.

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