Every year for the rest of my life

So my year 12s are currently gearing up to sit their HSC. I’ll be spending tomorrow and Thursday with them at school, during the school holidays, doing everything we possibly can to prepare them for these horrific exams.

Every time one of my year 12 groups/tutees sits the HSC it takes me back to what I thought was one of the most stressful times in my life. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders as I prepared to sit my exams, while my dad was in hospital, my mum was expecting great things and my teachers were reminding me how important these exams were. What is so important to remember, if you’re a HSC student reading this, is that it is most definitely not the be all and end all of your life. If you screw it up, you’ll be ok, I promise.

It’s hard because I have to find the fine line of validating their emotions and stress during this time, while still trying to show them that I survived the HSC and looking back now, it was not a big deal at all. Since losing my mum and my grandma in the space of 7 months, the HSC looks like a walk in the park. Yet every time my kids sit it, I feel just as much pressure as they do, in some cases more which is kind of worrying.

Before their HSC though, comes a great day of celebration and photos, that is their graduation. It’s the time when you can tell them what you really think because lets face it, technically, you’re no longer their teacher. For me, it was a day to make sure they knew how proud I was of them, all of them, well most of them, for becoming awesome and mature young people.

It is a day when they too can tell you how they really feel about you, which isn’t always a good thing. This year though a student said something to me that I will never forget and while it may not be true in the next 6 months, it was true to them at that particular moment and I think that’s enough for me. This student, who had come a long way in the last 2 years that I had known her, we had grown close and been through a lot together, she turned to me and said, “You’re my hero Miss.”

Now to this I replied with “Find a better one.” She assured me “You’re the best one.” I couldn’t believe it. No one had ever said something like that to me, and as I said, even if now it’s not still the case, she felt that, at that moment, I was her hero.

That’s why I keep going to school. That’s why I keep giving 150% of myself to these kids. That’s why we teachers take the crap pay, and the societal beatings, and the media beatings. In the hope that one day, a student will turn to us and say “You’re my hero Miss.”


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