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The HSC Experience
As Year 12 students across Australia prepare for their final school examinations, it will be interesting to note how the media reports the reaction of the students after each subject exam.
In NSW, the Sydney Morning Herald reports daily on the exams of the previous day, citing teachers, students and parents as to whether the exam was ‘fair’ and how the students feel now their schooling is behind them.
And although perhaps extreme, we’re probably not surprised to hear some students say,
“It was six years of hell, it’s a relief to be out of there.”
Whilst we may be saddened to hear this, we do know that too many of our students feel like this.
However this quote isn’t from a Year 12 student at all, but from David Hicks upon his release from Guantanamo Bay.
The reason it is easy to confuse a 2Unit Maths student with an inmate of Guantanamo Bay is that ‘relief’ is the primary emotion felt by students upon the completion of their studies.
These are selected quotes from the Sydney Morning Herald’s coverage of the 2011 NSW HSC.
“I’m relieved that the HSC is over.”
“It’s a relief to get the first exam over. “
“A RESOUNDING sigh of relief could be heard from every Hills year 12 student on Thursday.”
“…with the majority of students expressing relief that the first exam had gone without a hitch.”
“A COLLECTIVE sigh of relief echoed across the Hunter yesterday as the Higher School Certificate came to an end”
What a shame that after all their hard work, and the work of their teachers in creating creative, stimulating and engaging lessons, the primary emotion they feel upon completion of 13 years worth of education is relief.
Not satisfaction, gratitude or excitement.
Incidently the definition of relief is:
(noun) – alleviation, ease or deliverance through the removal of pain, distress, oppression etc.
Unfortunately I believe that this sense of relief plays an integral part in many education experiences – and not just students but teachers too, as I discuss here.
Author: Dan Haesler, he is a teacher, writer and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars He writes for the Sydney Morning Herald and blogs at http://danhaesler.com/ and tweets at @danhaesler