I didn’t fit in main stream education. It just didn’t work for me in a number of ways – relationship with teachers and students were problematic. I think because I was a number and there wasn’t much relational time for teachers to give us individually, I really struggled to connect. Focusing in class was a huge issue but I also felt like I needed additional learning support! I’m a boy, and sometimes sitting at a desk for every class just doesn’t work!
So halfway through Year 6, I just had enough…and stopped going to school altogether. A friend suggested I check out Arethusa College at Deception Bay, so I enrolled and started Year 7 the following year. Teachers here at Arethusa College work with you, they are so caring about each student. They come to this school to help us.
Now I’m in Year 9. I’ve been here 2 years – something’s clicked. I never knew there was an alternate system, where the teachers and school have helped me so much. It’s the way the curriculum is presented. It just doesn’t stress and freak me out. We do animal studies, woodwork, the automotive workshop, the music room, play sports in the hall & gymnasium. My favourite is “Outdoor education”, where we go camping every term, along with many canoe & sailing trips. Whenever we come to our outdoor classroom, we get around 1 hour to finish our maths, and then we can create/build what we want. So I always smash out my maths so I can finish building a structure of some sort, have a cup of billy tea and be outdoors.
You know it’s a saying around the campus, ‘You can build a boy but you can’t mend a man’, and I say that is what has happened to many of us here. We are being built up to become good men.
I’m a student leader now. I’ve really improved my behaviour and my grades. I just love it here. I’ve gone from D’s and C’s to A’s and B’s. I really want to be a teacher now, to help kids like me grow and learn.