Unless this is your first year of teaching, we all know that results day can be a bag of mixed emotions for everyone, with reasons for celebration and disappointment from teachers, schools, parents — and of course pupils. Add to this that teachers can also feel under pressure from senior leaders, not to mention politicians and the media, and you have a recipe for a turbulent day!
Many teachers will be asking themselves what their role is on A-Level results day, and how they can help their students during this transition period. After all the teaching has concluded and the results have been handed out, you can be left feeling a little redundant – when really you’re anything but! The teachers’ role on results day is an important one, and we’ve put together a few tips for the day to help you navigate this emotional minefield.
First and foremost, you need to make sure you are prepared for results day. The best thing you can do for your students is to be well-rested, calm, and positive. Make sure you get a good sleep in the night before – the last thing you’d want is to be cranky! (Incidentally, being a happy and positive influence on results day is one of the many reasons you should concentrate on your wellbeing during the holidays.)
Remember whatever happens, that you did your best as a teacher. You will always think of things you “could” have done differently for those students who have perhaps missed their results, but remind yourself that you did everything you could for your students at the time. Give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work as a teacher and focus on the positives.
In all the celebrations for the students who have met or exceeded their expectations, don’t forget that this is also a time for you to celebrate. Your students are moving on to the next stage of their lives – whether that be a career, further education, or training – and you helped them to get there!
Whether students feel that their results are good news or bad, your job on the day is to support them. Aim to be a calming presence, and remind your students that their results do not define who they are. There are lots of ways to frame “success”, and A-Level results – and university attendance – isn’t the only pathway for your students to achieve their dreams.
On results day, teachers will be bombarded with questions from both pupils and parents. In the days leading up to results day, make sure you’re up-to-date with clearing procedures, remarking proceedings, the application process for re-sitting exams, and even student loan applications.
Try to talk to your students away from their teachers, and let them open their results envelopes away from prying eyes. Anxious parents breathing down your neck isn’t helpful for anyone, and can make an already-stressful situation even worse. Many of your students will be grateful for the privacy.
There are a few things that are easily forgotten on results day, such as students who might require use of the IT room to start the clearing process as soon as possible – so ensure your students have access to a computer. There are also a few essential items to remember on the day:
Lastly, remember that a kind word from the heart, a joke, or a even congratulatory hug can go a long way in reminding every student that they are important and their efforts have been noticed.
If you’ve mastered the steps above, here are two things you can do to take your teaching career to the next level:
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