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Thursday, December 8, 2011


Yesterday I was honoured to attend the two functions associated with the year 7s at my former posting. I was greedy...I not only taught these students when they were in year 4, I also taught them last year in Year 6. Last year I saw them grow in confidence and maturity as the HOC (Head of Curriculum) and I put them through a Leadership Training program.

In the 1970s and part of the 1980s I was a Year 7 teacher. In my state Year 7 is the final year of primary school. In those days we would have a big class party on the last day and usually a trip to a local pool as a treat...and that was it. By the time my daughters were in Year 7 in the 1990s things had changed. At their school, students and parents went to an outside venue, usually a function room at a local club, where there were presentations of awards and graduation certificates and a catered dinner. The students dressed in their 'Sunday best' of course.
My last posting had a slightly different approach to Year 7 graduation. A ceremony was held at school on the Wednesday morning of the last week in which awards and graduation certificates were handed out. The school band and the choir always performed as well. If parental work commitments meant that a parent/s couldn't attend they just missed out which I always thought was sad. On the Wednesday night there was a dinner and disco but it was just for the students and any teachers who had been invited. Naturally I didn't get an invitation the first few years I was there as I hadn't taught any of the year 7s and I waited patiently for my first class (a 3/4) to get to Year 7. I actually got an invitation the year before that when the graduating class decided they wanted to invite all teachers not just the ones who had taught them.

Just before the graduation ceremony

The choir

This young man used to be a lot shorter than me...and his voice has broken too!

One thing I noticed that was different from my children's graduations, was the attire of the was amazing! The girls wore dresses similar to what older girls wear to nightclubs! And the high heels that some of them teetered around in...there were lots of suits and ties being worn by the boys...not just a nice shirt and long trousers. The dresses and suits etc at the dinner I went to last night would have cost parents a fair bit in my estimation. Some of the younger female teachers were saying that they would wear some of the dresses, they were so nice (and glamorous)! One of the young teachers asked the school captain where her lovely green dress came from...she replied that her parents had bought it in Melbourne and I would guess it is a designer frock...sigh...well at least none of the Year 7s arrived in a stretch limo!!! lol

A latecomer with a family member, goes through the welcoming archway

My hairdresser's son

Last night was a return to having the dinner at school. This meant that a small group of parents worked very hard to decorate the hall and tables and to organise the food. They did a great job; it was much better than the last 2 years where the dinner was held at a Football Club small function room, especially the food!


Becky said...

It truly is amazing how things change over time.

Maria said...

I don't know what it's like in the US Becky, but here we even have graduation ceremonies in kindergartens. Some kindies even have little black robes and mortarboard hats for the littlies to wear!

Linn said...

I am finding it increasingly difficult buying my pre-teens girl's shoes. They are at an age where you need to buy from the adult shoe range as not many shoe stores cater for their size feet in kid's sizes especially in more 'formal' type shoes and even summer sandals! It really is sad that designers are wanting our young girl's to look like they are 18 years plus.

bettsylyn said...

Interestingly I think you would find that the green dress in question was the girl's idea not the mother's, and the the mother would agree with you. She had a conversation a few weeks ago with R about how much pressure was being brought by the other girls and was asking how we dealt with it last year. (You will remember that M wore her jeans and didn't give in to the pressure of the other girls.)
To me mortar boards and gowns are for university graduations ( especially when you read about the history of the outfit) and I don't agree with the little kids getting dressed up like this.
I could go on all day but will leave it here.

Kayly said...

Good to see there is atill a band (still small though) of parents willing to put in a huge effort to make the Year 7 Graduation something special. The Hall looks great, especially after all those ceremonies on the hard seats at the pool's grandstand.