Year 9…

So it’s been a while since my last blog post. I’m getting to the busy end of the year with exam correction and report writing in full swing but never fear I’m back! I have to admit I’ve also had a bit of writers block and have been struggling to come up with a new topic that helps me move away from the melodrama of my last posting.

Last Friday I had my year 9 girls class for the last time and we all agreed it would be fun to finish off by having a swim so the majority of my girls remembered their swim gear and went for a bit of a dip. Towards the end of the lesson I was sitting beside some of my students who hadn’t gone swimming and we got to talking about the usual things in life. The rest of my class had started to come out of the pool to dry off and we sat together talking about the difficulties of being in year 9 and being 15 years old.

I asked them if this has been their hardest or most unhappiest year this year and the majority of them replied with yes. They also wanted to know why so I answered with the usual “oh well you know most people are going through heaps of growing changes and hormones can be fairly unforgiving in their disruption of emotions and what not. Oh and most of you are trying to figure out your friendship groups, and you’re being asked to start thinking about your future and for most of us 15 is the age when our parents just no longer “get” us.”

Then I stopped I was watching these kids nodding their heads and I said “you know basically it’s that time in your life when you want both sides of the coin. You want to be treated like an adult, do adult things be spoken to like an adult etc etc but at the same time you also want to be able to behave like a kid, say silly things, play games, talk rubbish with your friends for hours and basically not be required to do anything that’s perceived as important.”

Whenever I think of all of this I always think of Christmas. Being 15 years old and going to the big family Christmas lunch/dinner you’re just hoping that finally this is the year that you get told you’re no longer having dinner at the kids table but are finally being upgraded to the adults table [cue glorious choir music]… I mean after all it’s about time right? You’ve been practising your table manners for at least 12 years, how often are you going to get the chance to show off those skills? The flip side to all of this however is that you’re still hoping that your presents are gonna be fun toys and stuff and none of those weird boring looking things that you saw your aunty get from your nonna.

I told my year 9 girls not to worry too much and that year 9 is usually the worst year ever in terms of high drama in life and that hormones and personal values would soon settle and with that so will their friendship groups and the drama of having parents that “just don’t get me!”

After they left for recess I started to reflect on what Year 9 was like for me, and sure enough it was just as dramatic for me as it is now for them.

For me it was a series of firsts.

It was the first time I experienced death, with the loss of a dear friend and mentor in my golf coach. Also the first time I’d attended a funeral.

The first time I had a boyfriend, and the first time I had a break-up. The first time I had experienced malicious gossip and the first time I watched all my friends fight. The first time I yelled at a teacher and used bad words to emphasis my yelling.

It was the first time I was dragged into a extended family argument over something trivial. The first time I attempted to rebel (and failed miserably at it) and the first time I attempted to harm myself.

I had other firsts too including my first time at work experience and looking for a job and a few sport related firsts. Reflecting on all of this made me realise these year 9 girls could be going through just as much drama now. I’m just glad I’m not being yelled at by them now like my teacher was by me back then.

Above all else I just hope that when they come into my classroom that they can forget about their “year 9 baggage” and take the opportunity to be either side of the coin without worrying too much.




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