FIRST (MIDDLE) AND LAST SCHOOL DAYS

Do you remember your early school days? Do you look back at class photos and smile?

SCHOOL DAY MEMORIES

A friend posted some photos of our last day in high school on my FB wall the other day, and it inspired me to do a little overview of my school days - from starting Primary School, to finishing High School and then to finishing my Tertiary training. Hopefull you can spot me in the crowd - a bit like Where's Wally (except I'm not wearing a red and white striped shirt in any of the photos!)

FIRST - PRIMARY SCHOOL

To start things off I have a delightful picture of my first year of schooling - This is my Grade 1 class at Riverton Primary School. We are all 5 year olds and I'm in the middle of the second row with my head down because it was really sunny and I obviously didn't like the glare (and I was ridiculously shy back then too). 

On my right is my friend Helen - who is still my friend today and was my bridesmaid 35 years ago when I walked down the aisle. I love that our friendship has lasted for 50 years - an unbelievably long time!

I also look at how old our teacher is - she was no spring chicken and she ruled that giant class of forty four 5 year olds with an iron rod. No teacher would contemplate having a class that size these days - no aide to help her either - they made them tough in the good old days!


MIDDLE - HIGH SCHOOL

Fast forward 12 years and this is my final year at Rossmoyne High School. A much smaller class size than the one I started out in. I'm in the second row again and second from the right. 

I also just realized that the boy at the top left was in the back row of my Grade 1 picture - so he made it all the way through to the end as well. We're a rather unruly lot and surprisingly we are all wearing school uniform - just in a variety of interpretations - the strictness of the dress code must have dropped off as we neared the end of our school journey.



LAST - DENTAL THERAPY 

When I finished High School I had plans to be a Kindergarten teacher, but that never came to fruition because my parents weren't keen on the idea of me spending several more years in tertiary education. So, instead I went on to study Dental Therapy (or Dental Hygiene depending on where you grew up). 

There was a big push to get free dentistry into schools, and clinics were being built and girls trained to drill, fill and generally improve the dental health of Australian children. So here I am in my new shiny white (and navy) uniform surrounded by my fellow graduating classmates. I'm in the middle of the second row of standing students. 

I don't think many of us are still out there doing our bit for dentistry - most of us moved on to different ventures but it was a great start to my full time career and ultimately led to meeting my husband while I was doing my stint in a country town before moving back to the city.



WHAT ABOUT YOU?

So how were your school days? Do you have fond memories of your days sitting at a desk, or are they long gone and best forgotten? 

Do you remember your early school days? Do you look back at class photos and smile?

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29 comments

  1. I can't believe you had 44 kids in your first grade class! That's insane. In my town, there's an 18 kid limit. I don't know how the teacher could possibly manage 44. Wow.

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    1. Class numbers have definitely changed since the "good old days" Shari - those teachers ruled with an iron fist and we never had the freedom that kids today have in class - it was sit down, shut up, and learn!

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  2. What a lovely post Leanne and isn't it great to look back at our school days. Last year we had our 40th High School Reunion and everyone was posting photos to FB. I really enjoyed my school days - apart from the constant self- esteem issues. I agree with your point about class sizes - things have certainly changed now haven't they? Now we have pupil free days and laptops from primary school. It is a different world that is for sure.

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    1. Kids today seem to have a lot more flexibility in class than we did back then Sue. No moving around for different classes in Primary School, no talking in class ever, no "learning styles" just the good old 3 R's - at least they seemed to work!

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  3. I absolutely love your "First, Middle and Last' series, Leanne. I helps me to look back fondly on my own past experiences. Thank you for sharing this one about school. Yes, things certainly have changed!

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    1. I'm glad you like they Donna - they might not resonate with everyone, but I've had fun looking back and finding photos and sharing them.

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  4. long gone is right. Its been 23 years since I finished X Ray school

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    1. It's hard to believe isn't it Jeremy? It's been another ten years on top of that for me since I finished Dental Therapy - so much water under the bridge!

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  5. I didn't realize you were a dental hygientist, Leanne!!! Did you know that I'm a retired dentist??
    This was so fun to see these old photos. You would totally laugh at my dental photo (can you say big hair??)...one of these days, maybe I'll put in on the blog...
    XOOX
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Yep - I noticed you said something about being a dentist a while ago Jodie and I commented on it. It was a good job when I was younger, but I got tired of swimming in spit and other body fluids (especially with all the Hepatitis and HIV scares that were around a decade or so ago) It's much nicer being in the reception area!

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  6. I couldn't pick you out in any of these photos Leanne, but great memories all the same. I wanted to be a teacher too but my parents weren't keen on me continuing my education after year 12 either, so I got a job in an office. I have a few of my school photos, but I must admit I was never that keen on school. I liked to talk and socialise too much! #TeamLovinLife

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    1. It's funny because others can see me in them Kathy - I think we all look much the same when we're teenagers - all trying to blend in and be cool at the same time. I really liked school but I'd never go back again - I don't do reunions either - just glad to have been there, done that, and moved on with life.

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  7. Oh my! You're still friends with someone from grade 1??? I changed schools every 2 ½ years - my Dad was a country bank manager and that was sort of how it went - so was always the new girl. We moved to Sydney & I started a new school in year 12, so don't have any friends at all from school days. #TeamLovinLife

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    1. I was always so impressed with girls who started at different schools and made friends and re-established themselves Jo - it takes a lot of courage (esp in those teenage years!) I went to the same primary school and then the same high school for all my school life so I carried friends along with me - that Grade 1 friend was one of my bridesmaids!

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  8. My son finished his last day in the high school classroom and the end of last week & is now preping for his final exams. This week while having lunch we've had some interesting discussions about the pros and con's of school as it was in my day and school as it's been for him. I would love to of had the more interactive learning styles and the wider range of subjects, but think that current standards of behaviour and dress are now very lax, which is not a good thing.

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    1. My daughter teaches High School Jenni and the structure of the classroom and the freedom that students are given amazes me - it sounds like a circus at times. I think the good old days would have been a lot easier for teachers - so much more control and less wrangling of students. I guess they don't know any different and my daughter loves the challenge.

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  9. I don't have any school photos of my entire class. Not sure if they didn't do them or my mom didn't buy them when she bought my school photos. They would have been nice to have.

    My #lovinlife post is here

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    1. I'm not sure how I came by mine Emma - they must have been really cheap for my mum to have bought them. They are certainly a little snapshot of a time long gone - especially that giant class of five year olds!

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  10. That is a huge Grade 1 class! I love seeing these photo's of you. You've inspired me to share a few of these kind of photo's on my blog (in due course!). My school days were good and bad. Dad was transferred around a bit so whilst most of my schooling was in Brisbane, we did have 12 months in Warwick and 2 years in Mitchell. My school experience in Mitchell was in particular not very pleasant. Guess that's a story I could tell! #TeamLovinLife

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    1. I'd love to see some of your photos Min - I always enjoy seeing little snapshots of people's lives - and like I said to Jo above, I was always in awe of girls who changed schools and adapted to it so well - I was always petrified my parents would decide to move and I'd have to start again - fortunately I was spared the horror!

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  11. I love seeing these pictures!
    I remember those days fondly and write about them from time to time. I've discovered, though, that other people from my class don't have as fond memories. Yikes!

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    1. My husband hated his school days Diane - I have fond memories of mine (fairly banal ones that aren't worth blogging about though!)

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  12. I love looking back at old school photos! The hairstyles for one make me smile! Now that our 8 year old has school photos, I'm looking forward to looking back at them (if you know what I mean!). Thanks for sharing your happy post with #HighlightsofHappy

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    1. Hi Carol - thanks for the opportunity to link up - I'll have to remember to pop back again next week. And yes, I know exactly what you mean about the hairstyles - those 80's perms have a lot to answer for!

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  13. I wish I knew where my school day pictures were! And as a teacher I can't image having 44 kids in my class! Thanks for sharing at The Blogger's Pit Stop! Roseann from www.thisautoimmunelife.com

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    1. Things were definitely different back in our childhood days Roseann - I would never have believed classes were so big until I did a head count in that photo. I think we were given much less room to be individuals and we were very much under the teacher's thumb - quite different to students of today.

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  14. Dental therapy! That's so interesting.
    I had a few primary schools: Goulburn, Wagga, Albury and then back to Goulburn, Then one high school - an all girls Catholic school, Then two stints at the University of Canberra.

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  15. I also went through school with some of the same students (one of whom is also one of my very best friends today!) What a trip down memory lane!

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  16. Your grade one class was huge! I loved reading about your early career as a dental therapist and being able to provide this essential care to children around Australia.

    SSG xxx

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