On the afternoon of June 6, Robert Andrews Middle School held its annual exit interviews for Grade 9 students.
These interviews give the Grade 9 students who are leaving the school a taste of what a real interview is like. They are conducted by guest interviewers from the community, most of whom the students are not familiar with.
According to Sandi Evans, vice-principal of Robert Andrews, the school has been doing these interviews for six years as a way of giving the students a chance to demonstrate what they have learned during their time at the school.
Approximately 25 to 30 volunteers from the area, including retired teachers, school board members, teachers from other schools and others happily give their afternoon to get to know some of the extraordinary young people coming out of Robert Andrews. For the past two years I have been proud to be asked to participate in this event.
Each interview lasts approximately 20 minutes, during which the students have the chance to show off their portfolios as well as to discuss their hopes and dreams for the future. Every interview is as different as the students who are interviewed, some are more structured and some are more of a conversation. Some of the students have so much to share that 20 minutes barely scratches the surface, while others need a little more encouragement to get over their nerves. But given the opportunity, even the most shy students shine.
These interviews give both the students and the volunteers a rare and unique glimpse into a world in which they may not be very familiar with, a world they have either grown out of or are growing into. I believe that those who are doing the interviews come away with as much gained from the experience as those who are interviewed.
I hope Robert Andrews continues to give its students and their community the chance to get to know each other in this way. Thank you to Sandi Evans for allowing me the pleasure of taking part in this event, and thank you to all the students for all your hard work in preparing for this and for letting us see what life as a student is like.
Suzanne Dyck is a community correspondent for River East.