Goodbye Year 13s

Farewell Year 13.  I’ve been so busy of late I think I may have missed you growing up.

The realisation came to me as I watched your ‘leaver’s assembly’ last week.  You put it together with such style, panache, good humour and grace that it dawned on me that at some point over the last few months (or even years) you turned from children into adults right in front of my eyes.  And I hadn’t even noticed.

How very ‘unmindful’ of me.

Please forgive me.  Please forgive the teaching profession in general.  You see you may not believe it but we became teachers because we want the best for you.  And the best for the other year groups we teach too.

Back of lady's head with the words 'good luck in life'

And yet somehow over the last few years, ‘the best’, due to other people’s agendas and external pressures, has narrowed so much that it often feels like this simply translates to GETTING A HIGH GRADE in the subject that we specifically teach you.  The over-riding purpose of our day now seems to be to prep you for one day where you ‘show off’ your knowledge, understanding and literacy skills to someone you and I will never meet.  According to today’s UK education system, that person will decide if you and I succeeded or not.

Yet today I began to be more observant again.  I woke up when I was watching your colourful, vibrant and energetic assembly.  I was reminded why I became a teacher all those years ago.  Yes, I love sharing my passion for my subject, but really, it’s more than that.  I became a teacher to help young people develop skills and personal characteristics to stand them in good stead in adulthood.  I didn’t come into teaching to focus so narrowly on one particular day in someone’s life.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that day of your exam is important.  But because all of our reputations seem to be hinged on this date these days, the importance of it has begun to dominate and stifle school life.

Watching you today reminded me that your teenage years are about so much more than just exams.  The teenage years are about friendships, first loves, your social life.  It’s good to be reminded that exams merely fit in around all of these other things.

So good luck in your exams Year 13, but more importantly good luck in life.  At times I may have behaved as if your History A Level grade is the only thing that I care about.  But in reality I care about much more than that.

Take care.

Mrs S.

Two Tiny Hands
Mummy in a Tutu
The Mum Reviews

Lucy At Home

24 thoughts on “Goodbye Year 13s

  1. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. You have expressed so eloquently what I am feeling. My year 13s are leaving tomorrow. I will think of this and may shed a tear or two xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh this is so so beautiful! As a mum of a year 13 this really resonated. Loved this sentence “The teenage years are about friendships, first loves, your social life.” So wonderful that you see this! Loved the entire post, though, and just so lovely to read that you’re reminded of why you fell in love with teaching xx #ablogginiggoodtime

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve shared this on my local mums Facebook page. It is absolutely spot on. I have two daughters doing GCSE’s and A levels now. I love what you have written and wholeheartedly agree. Alison (MadHouseMum)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My eldest is in Year 13 and the chat at home is all about leaving but it is so wonderful to read a post from the teacher’s perspective. What an achievement to send off these students that you have taught for so many years as children into the world as adults. A big heartfelt thank you. Wonderful post. #familyfun would love you to link with our TweensTeensBeyond linky next week. x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this is a beautiful post I really loved it. I hope your year 13s read it? It so brilliantly captures teenage years and some of the problems with education system. Such a well written and article post thank you for sharing at #familyfun

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Now I was sure I had commented on this post! I absolutely love this as a fellow teacher and a mum. You are quite obviously a wonderful teacher. It is so sad that wonderful teachers like you re feeling under pressure and that things that are amazingly important, those skills we need for life, are being squeezed out of education.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautifully written! Our education system is something that I think about quite often these days when I’m contemplating what kind of education I’d like Lilly to have. The importance of grades and the pressure to teach children in a way that gives them the skills to write exams rather than to ‘really learn’ is often top of my mind. Thank you for the reminder that, despite the system, teachers are, of course, still human and there is so much more to teaching than the academics. I love that you included ‘skills and personal characteristics’ in your list too xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this so much. It’s not all about grades, it’s about growing and being inspired and becoming a productive citizen who thinks about the large picture- not just a grade on a paper. #EatSleepBlogRT

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh this is lovely! It can be so hard to keep the perspective (speaking as a student AND as a teacher) when those exams are looming. But I think it’s important that, somehow, room is made in the curriculum to teach kids that academic achievement is not everything. #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

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