and no … I’m not walking up and down with a placard over my shoulders, shouting “the end of the world is nigh”! That’s not what I meant to picture when I typed that title .. honest!
It’s the day before, the day before GCSE results are published and in some ways it’s also the close of a chapter of my life. So how does it feel? Don’t worry I’m not asking you to really answer that because of course, every person is different and my perception (of events) is “my” reality and no-one else’s.
It actually feels as if I’m about to start a new book, and not just a chapter but I’m not allowed to start reading it just yet – it is sat on the table, just out of reach. However, the first thing I do with every new book is open it wide and bend the spine (my hubbie hates that!) so I’m not sure the book/chapter analogy is working for me here but I’ll go with it.
In the penultimate chapter last week when A level results were published, I was so proud to see some of the some of the best results in the school were achieved by members of my tutor group. I couldn’t stop myself recalling one of the lads as the first student I ever met and it was quite emotional to see how far he has come, and I am immensely proud of how hard he has worked to achieve his goals.
So, results day is Thursday and it’s the culmination of 3 years (it’s a High School operating in a three-tier county!) with my teaching groups. In the main, unusual for our school, I have taught both of my classes for the entire time and I am both excited and nervous and most people will tell you the day isn’t about me, or you it is the students’ day – something that they will remember for a long, long time. Now of course that is true, but it is also a day for celebrating the hard work that teachers have done too and you need to be ready for the emotional rollercoaster that is known as “results day”. Here are my tips for the day … let’s call this my “Teachers guide to avoid spoiling what could be one of the biggest days for your students’ education so far” list :
1) Know what you’re going to ask
I use the stock phrase of “How’d you do?” Rattling on about how proud you are of a student when they haven’t opened their results tends to give the game away.
2) Don’t be too gushing
Remember that not everyone wants you running around broadcasting their results. They are the student’s results and not yours! Yeah right! Seriously though, I try to keep any gushing about the results within the department – not every colleague is in the same situation, and some people find it very boring hearing about other departments results (imagine that!)
3) Take some tissues
There are always tears and that’s just from me! You can expect tears of joy and also tears of disappointment.
4) Know who to refer students to
Most schools will (well if they haven’t they should!) know which students are in for a massive disappointment and will have it covered but make sure that you know which member of staff is there to give “what happens now” advice.
5) Say Well Done, Good Luck and Goodbye
Ok so that last one is just for me. I need to remember that I’m not coming back in September so want to take the time, to speak to every student I have taught to wish them luck and to say a Goodbye.
Back to my original question. I can sum up how I’m feeling in one word … odd. I suppose the summer break means that it doesn’t feel real yet as it’s just like the last 5 summers. Even though I’ve been in and done bits on my new classroom, the fact that I’m going to a new job, new school, new kids won’t feel real until I’m in situ.