It’s an undeniably anxious time for pupils with so much pressure pushed on them as they’re told the outcome of the exams will determine whether they live or die and that their future career depends on it.
But for the teachers. It’s very different. Their career does depend on the outcome. In every high school in England, everything has been building up to those horrible hours in a sweaty gym full of adolescence with faces full off fear. And all you can do is watch and hope.
Here are the things that only high school teachers understand about exam time…
1. Those all important revision sessions
If bribing them with biscuits, crisps and flapjack won’t get them to attend, there is absolutely no hope.
2. The anxiety is real
You can’t eat, you can’t sleep, you almost went through a red light the other day thinking about how Gemma hasn’t been to a revision session in 3 weeks. You’re up till the early hours of the morning printing off more past papers of even though your pupils already have at least 7 in their bag already.
3. The prep talk you give your pupils seconds before the exam
You see 30 innocent eyes staring at you full of hope and desperation. The whole room is silent and clinging onto your every word and you almost feel like Braveheart as you send them out into battle.
4. Exam seating plans.
When your main concern is getting your hands on the exam paper and instead you’ve got to spend half an hour trying to help that one pupil whose running around the sports hall like a lost sheep trying to find their seat.
5. That first look at the paper
6. The biggest sense off relief in the world
When a big six marker is on the test and you went over it in the past week. NOTHING compares.
7. You try to use telepathy
After reading the exam paper thoroughly, and finding some extremely difficult questions, you become so desperate you start trying to send answers to your pupils via telepathy. It’s all you’ve got left.
8. Feeling a little smug when your exam is over but other departments haven’t
And by a little smug, we mean a lot smug.
9. Lying to your headteacher
Bumping into your head teacher in the hallway and them asking ‘So how was the paper then?’ only for you to reply with ‘I am sure they have done absolutely fine,’ and then going up to your classroom and crying.
10. The long, painful wait for the results
It’s not over yet, you’ve got at least a month to wait until the actual results arrive, so in the meantime you can look forward to a summer of stress, worry and teeth biting as you impatiently await the dreaded results. Enjoy.