Grade Nine Orientation. The very name strikes the fear into the hearts of students and teachers alike. It’s that wonderful time of year where grand masses of Grade Nines stream into our great halls and crowd into our gyms, in order to find out exactly what their futures are going to look like.
Being a volunteer at the Orientation this year, the first thing I realized was this: they’re more afraid of you than you are of them. And every Grade Nine handles that fear a little bit differently. (I also realized I’m not as funny as I think I am, but that’s not important right now.)
The important thing was to keep your cool. It’s alright if you start off with nine students, and then suddenly there are twelve. It’s OK if you don’t quite understand how the relay works. Roll with it.
Oh no! We don’t have a map!
Because if you show panic, they will panic. I guarantee that.
Now, once my partner and I had finally settled into a nice routine, I started to take in the sights, and I realized something.
Our school is truly an amazing place. It’s always nerve-wracking when outsiders come into your school – your home away from home – and start judging it. It’s like showing a friend your favourite TV show. You really want them to like it, but you’re scared anything you say is going to skew their viewpoint, so you let the show do the talking.
And let me tell you, the school spoke for itself.
We truly do have something for everyone. The musical cast put on a spectacular preview, our sports teams have so many achievements, and we’re going to provide a Science and Inquiry class for Grade Tens next year (which actually made me quite jealous)!
The best part was the fact that when the Grade Nines were seated at the end of the day, after being quiet for so long, they became loud. You could tell they loved it, and their excitement was radiating off them in waves.
They had no idea of the preparation and planning that went in. But we did, and I can tell you now that it was all worth it at the end of the day.
(Also, we got pizza, so that was pretty awesome too.)
If you’re thinking of volunteering at Grade Nine Orientation next year, I say do it.
Because Grade Nine Orientation isn’t only for the Grade Nines…it’s for you to enjoy your school as well.
Kyra Nicolacoupolos is a Grade Eleven student at CCH. She enjoys reading, writing, and watching British television shows. Her favourite thing about CCH is all of the co-curricular clubs.