Predictions for the upcoming A-Level results…
On Thursday 15 August hundreds of thousands of young adults will receive their A-Level exam results (sorry Scotland, we know you’ve already had yours, but keep reading as this still includes you). This is a stressful day for students across the land. Although we wish all these students the best of luck, for they are the future, it is the teachers that our thoughts go out to, because after the hard slog, anguish, nail-biting and hair-rending, there are only really three possible outcomes and all three seem to have an inevitably similar result…
Outcome 1: the students do well. The beautiful ones with 4A*s, perfect shiny teeth, glossy hair and flawless complexions will be plastered across the front pages of our newspapers, leaping for joy, results in hand. Those who aren’t blonde and nubile will probably be ignored by the press, irrespective of their grades. Come to think of it, has anyone pointed out what impact this might have on teenage image anxiety?
Sorry, we digress. Beneath the pictures of the perfect students will be articles saying that exams have never been so easy and berating teachers for, heaven forbid, teaching the students what they need to know to pass their exams. These articles not only belittle the efforts of the students, but also those of the teachers who have supported and inspired them. Reading on, the articles will continue to kick the education system and the high achieving students who chose to continue their studies, by saying that university teaching is woefully inadequate and that there are no prospects for graduates at the end of it all anyway. Who knows, maybe Ofqual will even tell us that the exams were “graded generously”. Happy days.
Outcome 2: the students do OK. Ofsted will announce that OK isn’t good enough, schools “require improvement” and promptly move the goal posts again. It is still the teachers’ fault. Smiley face.
Outcome 3: the students don’t do so well. Run for the trees dear teachers before the wrath of Michael Gove and the press comes showering down upon you in something akin to the start of Flash Gordon. And before we’re accused of being mean to Michael Gove, we aren’t, he just happens to be the incumbent and is therefore highly likely to continue in the same vain as his predecessors (Balls, Johnson, Kelly, Clarke, Morris, Blunkett…). #Yay
Oddbins thinks that it's rubbish that teachers always take the flak, whatever the outcome. To all those who say that exams are so much easier than they were in their day, we say: horses**t. If that rationale were true, it would mean that those who have been running this country for the past 15 years (please note this includes all the major political parties) took harder exams and therefore following this lopsided logic are better educated. So why have these “clever clogs” made such a mess of the Economy, NHS, Banking, International Relations, their expenses, etc.? Exams have changed because the world has changed.
What hasn’t changed is that teachers are still inspiring students and those inspired students are going on to achieve things that we could never dream of. Teachers are a critical part of our society, they are the buttress that holds us up, even though they seem to have become more of a scapegoat-shaped piñata for politicians of every hue. We may not have liked all our teachers, but we haven’t forgotten how they inspired us and moulded our lives. So Oddbins would like to say THANK YOU TEACHERS…
We have ten cases of wine to give away to ten inspirational teachers. If you are 18 or over and you’ve had or have an inspirational teacher, then pop their name, the name of the school or university they teach at, when you attended that school or university and a brief explanation of why you found them so inspirational in an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will publish the best right here on our blog and send a case of wine directly to each of the teachers that we deem to be the most inspiring.
So without further ado, it just leaves us to wish everybody involved with A-Level results day the very best of luck. We have our fingers crossed for you. And teachers: Oddbins is on your side. (TO)
This post was written while drinking: Quinta dos Roques. This hefty red was made by a former maths teacher. We wouldn’t like to speculate with regards to what inspired him to quit teaching, but if this is what a disillusioned teacher can do with a handful of grapes, imagine what could be achieved if we all offer them our support. We give it an A*.