Matric Exams: All round anxiety

It’s about that time of the year again, as it is every year. Matric FINAL exam season! The time of year when Matriculants are realising that this is it! Parents/Guardians are stressed out! Teacher are hyper-nervous! And the whole school at large just has to comply.

People think that Grade 12 is the end of 5 years worth of preparation which only takes into consideration the start of high school. But I personally believe that it all begins in primary school because without that solid foundation, all can easily be doomed. Primary school teachers like “I’m preparing you for high school.” While high school teachers say “I’m preparing you for matric or life after school.” When in actual fact we are all preparing a child for matric and life after school whenever that happens (since children may start working at the age of 15).

It is wild to think that 12 schooling years (at minimum) of your life accumulate to one big exam season that determines success and certification of Basic Education. That is just the nature of our education system, many education systems all over the world. It would take a whole lot of effort if we were to change that.

I reflect on my matric year, literally half a decade ago. I wanted to excel in my academics. Very quickly I realised that matric is a year for revision, lowkey you have more and less time at the same time. I had to sacrifice a little bit of my hockey playing time, because I took on too many responsibilities. I was a student leader and a tutor, many will not believe but I started taking bible study more seriously. You could say I just wanted to be involved and make it a full year. I enjoyed being busy but it was also because I wanted my CV to look good early on, for personal use and applications for bursaries and universities. I had clear objectives for myself and that doesn’t always make you a person who is favoured by others. Teachers like you and your peers don’t fully understand you. That is sometimes difficult to deal with but such is life.

Being on the other side now as a teacher, I wish I could give my learners the same opportunities that were given to me. Simultaneously, I want them to be achievers and make independent decisions. It’s unfortunate that my grade 12s this year were dealt a very bad hand in many aspects. Their year has lacked stability and I have tried my best to at least be able to provide that. As teachers we ask ourselves, “how much of yourself should you share with your learners?” Authenticity is always appreciated, I made it my intention to share a part of me that showed that achieving nice things because you set your mind and heart to it is possible. I showed them that making mistakes is very necessary to progress and learn.

Being a matric teacher is a new level of anxiety. The questions are: 1. Am I doing enough? 2. Are they hearing and listening to me? 3. Will they achieve what they have set out for themselves?

Only time will tell…

Let the exam season begin 😌. Sending strength and love to the matrics ❤️

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