We hate to break it to you – in fact, we probably don’t need to be breaking it at all – but it’s Results Day 2017 for A Levels next week, and GCSEs only a week after. So, we’ve come together to make you a handy guide to help you though these stressful days.
A-LEVEL RESULTS: 17th August
GCSE RESULTS: 24th August
THE DAY BEFORE
As you sit, pondering what successes and what failures you will face tomorrow, you should take a moment to think of your students. Can you remember the panic you had when you were waiting for your results? The nerves? The deep-seated urge to run away as far as you could and never look back? Remember these feelings… and then let them go. You can take a breath. Results are scary for teachers, especially this year with so many changes in place, but your students are far more scared than you.
This is a day that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Remind yourself, as you walk into your school tomorrow, that you’re there for the students. As @TeacherToolkit so wisely says, “The time for teacher, department and school performance conversations will come.” Results day isn’t for you. It’s for them.
Remember, this year is a little different. Usually, all grade boundaries are published online 24 hours before the results are released. This year, to lessen student anxieties, the boundaries will be issued directly to you one day in advance. They will only be posted online on the day. Students then, might not know the boundaries and be full of uncertainty. It’s your job to familiarise yourself with all the information you have so you can be the best support for them on the day.
ON THE DAY
Yes, I know there’s a bottle of red in the kitchen, and I’m sure it does have your name on it, but 6am on Results Day is not the time to crack it open. Your students are probably awake too, and they’re terrified, so they’re going to need you to keep them on the straight and narrow. You might need this time to prepare for the unexpected.
The kid at the back of your class that always played up may well have exceeded all expectations, but the one you were sure would pass? They might be in for a disappointment, as is the nature of results day. Emotions are going to be high.
Have a pack (or two… or three…) of tissues ready for all situations. It’s easy to be drawn towards the happy tears and celebrating students, but they don’t need you. Be prepared to keep an eye out for the quiet and struggling ones, and take them somewhere you can talk and give them support. Have your phone fully charged, too. Whether it’s for calling clearing hotlines or sixth forms and colleges, your students might need you on their side. You’ve got them this far, why would you stop helping now?
Above all, though, be full of reassuring words. You know that results aren’t the end of the world, but they might not. Remind them that everything will be OK.
THE DAY AFTER
Now is the time to think about yourself. Take a paracetamol for your headache (I know you broke into that wine last night!) and collate your thoughts. You’ve done it! You’ve survived Results Day 2017!
You were there for your students. That’s the best thing you could have done for them on such a tough day. It’s time to reassure yourself, too. You worked hard, but your hard work can’t always pay off. The students need to be doing the same and, if they didn’t, there’s not much you can do about it now. The successes, however, are worth patting yourself on the back for.
The analysis is next, but remember not to take it too hard. Learn from this year, and make sure next year is even better. If you’re still unsure of how the Progress 8 will go down during this stage, this handy info-graphic from TES should help you out.