“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
The quote above from the American poet Robert Frost is arguably, one of the more famous poems of the twentieth century. We all have choices to make in our lives. Every choice takes us on a journey which we often have questions about and wonder where it will lead us. It is a journey of discovery. Life is not predictable and although we endeavour to make our choices with wisdom and confidence, there is always an element of doubt as to the outcome.
As we commence Term 3, our Year 12 girls are heading into the final stretch of their school life and girls in Years 8, 9 and 10 are about to make important subject selections for 2019. The Year 12 girls are making important decisions with regards to completing practice exams, making summary notes, learning new material and revising important concepts. In short, they are taking the necessary steps to ensure they are as well prepared as possible for the November VCE Exams. Of course, their teachers are intimately involved in these preparations and doing their part to ensure the success of all girls.
Girls in the lower year levels are grappling with selecting subjects for 2019. The choices for the Year 10 and 11 girls in deciding which VCE subjects to study is extremely important as they inch ever closer to the ‘pointy’ end of school. However, even girls in Year 8 have important decisions. There are a range of electives to choose and students in most cases will be challenged to narrow down their choices. In the end, a selection needs to be made. Once these selections are made, a pathway will open up. Inevitably other pathways, for the time being, are not available. What is important in life, is to make a firm decision and then go with it. It may not be the perfect choice but if it is one that suits your strengths and is one you can follow with interest and enjoyment, then it will probably work out for the best. We are all different and we must be true to ourselves in these defining moments or ‘turning points’, and we must allow others to follow their path without judgement.
The paragraph below from an unknown principal went viral on the internet last year. Whether it was truly written by a principal writing to parents I cannot verify. Nonetheless, the author of this piece is clearly making the point that everyone is an individual and the expectations of others may not be the same as a person undergoing an exam or approaching a significant turning point in their education.
“The exams of your child are to start soon. I know you are all really anxious for your child to do well. But, please do remember, amongst the students who will be sitting for the exams there is an artist, who doesn’t need to understand Maths… There is an entrepreneur, who doesn’t care about History or English literature…There is a musician, whose Chemistry marks won’t matter…There’s an athlete…whose physical fitness is more important than Physics… If your child does get top marks, that’s great! But if he or she doesn’t…please don’t take away their self-confidence and dignity from them. Tell them it’s OK, its just an exam! They are cut out for much bigger things in life. Tell them, no matter what they score…you love them and will not judge them. Please do this, and when you do… watch your children conquer the world. One exam or low mark won’t take away…their dreams and talent. And please, do not think that doctors and engineers…are the only happy people in the world.” Unknown Principal
All of the girls at St Catherine’s School are about to make important choices which will affect their futures. Our role as teachers and parents is to support them in their choices and continue to support them as their journey unfolds.