Last night I had my first teaching-related anxiety dream of the late Summer. It was the usual scenario, repeated many times over many years; however experienced you become, they never go away for good. What is the usual scenario? A class that won't be quiet. That age-old problem. Sometimes, I've woken myself up shouting. It's not a good look!
So why last night? It doesn't take a genius to work it out: we are on the countdown to GCSE results day. In less than 24 hours' time the results will be there, in black and white, for better or worse, for all to see. This year is, of course, a particular watershed moment for schools with the first full cohort entering the new GCSE across most subjects. For the first time I will be running my finger down a list of numbers rather than a list of letters; for the first time in quite a few years, I have no real sense of surety as to where those indicators will settle and whether they will reflect my predictions with any kind of consistency or fairness.
I hope with all my heart that our students don't know just how much we worry about them. It is not their job to fret on our behalf; it is their job to do their very best and our job to help them. But on days like this, the night before the final judgement is shared, it is hard not to feel the ponderous weight of responsibility. Did I prepare them well enough? Did I coach them clearly? Did I give them the skills and the knowledge that they need to realise their potential?
This year I was blessed with a wonderful group of students. All I can do now is hope that all their hard work is rewarded and that my next blog post will be bursting with joy.