Back from the Easter break and the routine was picked up again as if never away. Some kids returned still quite apathetic and you start to wonder why we put so much effort in to be faced with this shoulder shrugging. It baffles me tha they don’t want to do well – but then hindsight is a brilliant thing. I’m moaning at them because I didn’t work hard enough myself.
It’s not all the kids by any means, but there are enough in each class to make you question yourself and the motivation you have for seeing them through to the exams. We always do see them through and, more often than not, there is a positive outcome for the majority of kids come the results in August. Why do they leave it so late and why is there a fashion to “not care” in front of their friends? I don’t know if it is just in certain schools with a specific socio-economic background or if it covers the system universally but it is a worry to me that people don’t want to be seen to be working hard and doing well.
This does impact on the teacher too because the enthusiasm and energy starts to disappear as the terms go on and if the kids can’t be bothered it is sometimes difficult to maintain your own focus. No matter if you tell them how important the exams are or the effect on their choices in the next few years they don’t see it – and I suppose we didn’t either at that age, we don’t have the bigger picture view that our aged hindsight provides. But the thing I did have was pride in my work and I wanted to do well for me – not teachers, family or friends – but myself. I think maybe that’s what’s missing.
There is also the issue of university places starting to come through and a student with an unconditional offer obviously decides that thy no longer need to work as hard, or to even pass – but would it hurt the further education institutions and UCAS to delay this news until the exam diet was past? This would encourage harder work and would stop the decline in standards in many of the seniors. Then there is the fear many have of having to leave school and go out into the world for the first time and the realisation that hard work is needed at college, Uni and work to get on in life. Maybe we make it too easy on them or give them too many opt outs and should be tougher and less forgiving in the chances they are given. It’s a difficult one because your work ethic and attitude wants these kids to do well.
Then with the spread of that apathy I start to question what’s next for me. I’m considering whether the location, position or even the job is needing a change to keep me fresh and energised. Maybe I need a new challenge and to be pushed and taken in a slightly different direction. Don’t want to end up like the kids do I?