Lauren F. Class of 2016
I came to IDS in third grade because I wanted to be challenged academically. I attended public school and I felt like the teacher spent most of the time disciplining rather than teaching.
After only a few days in third grade, I realized how much more advanced the classwork was. Since classes are so much smaller at IDS, my teachers really got to know me both as a student and as a person. I felt like an important member in the class, and the teachers and students valued what I had to say. We spent all of our time learning and exploring.
There are two teachers that have really influenced me. I especially like Mr. Kolmer, my sixth grade science teacher. He has made science come alive for me! Instead of just sitting and listening to a lecture, it is very hands on. We experience what he is teaching by actually doing it. You learn so much more by participating rather than just reading. Science is challenging, but he makes me want to meet this challenge and overcome it! He is always there when you need help.
Another special teacher that I value and respect is Mrs. Effgen. She was my fifth grade teacher and taught me so many skills that I have applied to Middle School. Her organizational skills that she passed on to me have been so important because with the transition to changing classes, you need to be organized and prepared. Mrs. Effgen is more than just a teacher, she is someone whom I can always go to for advice in difficult situations. Her door is always open.
Fearless learning to me means that you do not have to be shy or scared when you want to ask a question. At times I think my questions may seem simple, but I have learned that there is probably more than one other classmate who has the same question. I now do not hesitate to raise my hand when I am confused. The past four years at IDS have helped me grow as a learner because part of learning is asking questions!
I realize that I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a student at IDS and I am happy that I still have three years here, because it is my second home.
Larry H. Class of 2014
I’ve been at IDS since I was in pre-K so it’s always been a part of me. It’s an incredibly close-knit community where you always feel safe to express your ideas. There’s no judgment at all.
When I was in second grade, I had an issue with my writing. It wasn’t very well organized, but I wasn’t embarrassed if other students knew that I was having difficulty. .Over the years, with the help of my teachers my writing has improved a lot. I worked hard at it but now I am a confident writer able to communicate clearly and effectively.
At IDS, you can really connect with all of your teachers. They provide you with the space to be yourself, especially in the Middle School advisee system. But, I’ve had great relations with teachers that haven’t been my advisors, too, in PE, science and history. Mr. Kollmer, my science teacher, has had a profound impact on my interest in science that I want to pursue it further in my studies. I am looking forward to high school, but I want it to be a place that feels like IDS, only a little bit bigger.
Fearless learning, for me, is a way of life. IDS brought this out and encouraged me to think out of the box. The teachers pushedme to elaborate on my ideas and hunches and to discover new things. I’ve benefited from my time here and I’ve grown as a person.
Olivia H. Class of 2014
There are so many opportunities here at IDS -- music, performing arts and athletics and I’ve been able to experience all of them. Initially, I went to the public school in my town but I found that many of the students weren’t really interested in expanding their knowledge and learning new things. When I first came to IDS, it felt very natural. The community is very welcoming so I didn’t feel out of place. The only subject I was nervous about was Spanish since I had never studied it before. All the kids at IDS had Spanish class since pre-K. My teacher, Sra. Dwyer ,was great and very organized and she got me a tutor so I quickly caught on.
One of the best aspects of IDS is the relationships you build with your teachers. Mrs. Ficke has been my advisor, my coach and my English teacher so we’ve had many interactions. If I ever have a problem, I go to her and she listens. There’s no barrier.
Science class is very hands on. When we conduct a lab there’s an opportunity to search more about the thing we’vefound so there’s a broader opportunity. I don’t think many science programs are like this one.
I’d say fearless learning is not being afraid to take a risk. Audition for a play. Answer a question in class even if you’re not sure you’re right. There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be fearless.
Pat P. Class of 2013
Choate Rosemary Hall Class of 2017
Choate is very demanding but IDS has prepared me in many respects. Not only do I know math formulas really in depth, but I can apply them and use those strategies for creative problem solving. My IDS math teachers and Design Thinking teacher really made me think and encouraged out of the box thinking.
One of the most difficult challenges I had at IDS was a collaborative assignment in the history seminar. You needed to work as a group and designate who should do what aspect of the project. I learned how to distribute the work equally, how to delegate and trust my team. Those skills will serve me not only in school but later in work as well.
Fearless learning is doing things you wouldn’t normally do and testing yourself. Instead of taking an easier drama class at Choate , I am now taking an Introduction to Visual Studies, which I never would have done. IDS is one big, close knit community and my teachers, especially Mrs. Ficke, were always there. IDS has taught me to push myself and get out of my comfort zone.
Lizzie W. Class of 2013
Miss Porter’s School Class of 2017
IDS definitely prepared me for high school. It made me intellectually curious and made me want to learn new information. Learning wasn’t about memorization but developing study skills and initiative in order to be successful. There is a heavy workload at Porter’s but I’m not overwhelmed by it at all and I don’t need constant reminders to study.
I had some challenging moments at IDS. Our history teacher organized a lot of group projects, which was not one of my strengths. The more I turned to my teacher for help, the better I was able work within my group and eventually became a group leader. Additionally, I was intimidated by math and never thought I was very good at it. In fifth grade, my teacher placed me in a more challenging math section. Ms. Ravid, my fifth grade teacher, and Mrs. Ellis made math more interesting so I was able to understand the concepts better. Through the support of my teachers, I was able to keep challenging myself in math to make it more fun. This year I have an A in my class! In both cases, in history and math, I was able to work through my issues and become a better student because of it.
Fearless learning to me is being able to say what you want in class and not being afraid of being judged. It’s being able to raise your hand and share your opinion. It’s being able to immerse yourself in a challenging environment – like a new math class – because IDS is such an open and learning environment. Ultimately, fearless learning is understanding that learning is fun.