Thursday 19 August 2010

An Open Letter To My A2s

Dear students,

Any minute now, you will be opening the envelopes containing your A-Level exam results. I still vividly remember the day, 12 years ago, going up to the high school to collect my results. I felt as though my results were Schrödinger's cat - simultaneously excellent and dire, as the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. And I don't mind telling you I feel as nervous today as I did back then.

I was lucky - my cat was gloriously, spectacularly, deliciously alive. I danced out of the hall and into my mother's arms, where we laughed until we cried. I very much hope that today will be a day of laughter for you and I cannot wait to share your happiness.

But if you've missed the grades, please do not despair. You will probably feel as though your world is over. Scream and cry - howl your eyes out. But only for a little while, because you have only a short time to try and sort out alternative plans. Talk to us, your lecturers. Think about a gap year doing something exciting and worthy. Think about whether it is you who wants to be a doctor or your parents. Maybe resits are an option.

Above all, know that I am so incredibly proud of all 13 of you. I have loved teaching you, and I hope you have enjoyed my classes. I think you have had a few novel experiences for A-Level students, such as stroking a newt, recreating a crime scene with real human bones, and using Krispy Kreme doughnuts to demonstrate statistics.

I wish you all the best for wherever your future takes you. I hope you keep that enthusiasm for science that you had in my classes, and that your combined filthy sense of humour doesn't get you into trouble. I can categorically say, without any doubt, that you are the best A-Level group I have ever taught.

Julia x

P.S.: That's what she said.


  1. Aw, I bet you're an awesome teacher and this makes me excited to teach (assuming that that is in my future!).

  2. The students do seem to enjoy being taught by me! I'm very pleased to say that they did brilliantly. 100% pass rate, with a few As and Bs thrown in, and some little fighters across the board. My palaeontologist has got into Portsmouth too, so I'm thrilled.

    And a thank you card I had from one of the girls who overcame massive personal problems really brought home why I do it. Because I can help them to change their lives for the better and realise their dreams. And, it would appear, help them understand statistics using doughnuts.


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