My year 11 teaching group were a mixed bunch: some lovely, some lively, some lazy, and some who made me livid. But in their en masse state, I'd been counting down the days to their study leave since before Christmas. There are two who I would miss, if I was inclined to do such a thing, because they have made me laugh until my sides have ached - usually unintentionally - and want to do well. But at least half of the rest make me want to turn on my heel and slam the door behind me, tell them to go and screw themselves, and hope they fail their GCSEs, because in our last couple of weeks most of them didn't seem to give a tuppeny toss about their impending exams.
In our last lesson I was trying to give them vital exam tips but only a handful were bothering to scribble notes and listen. I have, of course, been giving them vital exam tips all year, but they've had no sense of urgency so it all has to be reiterated. I had to send a couple of them out of the lesson for their rude and inappropriate behaviour. They seem to forget they have to come back for their exams, and therefore see no consequences for being complete muppets in their last few weeks.
But then one of those who I sent out made a surprise reappearance last week just after one of his exams. He sloped up to my room with another ne-er-do-well, both of them clutching sixth form prospectuses.
"Sixth form?" I spluttered. "I thought you wanted to do an apprenticeship?"
"Nah, I wanna go sixth form," was the reply. "I'm gonna miss school. I wanna stay on."
I barely disguised my sharp intake of breath and raised eyebrows.
"Do you think I can do (your subject) in sixth form?" This time his question made me laugh out loud.
"Oh, you're serious? Um, well, let's see how you do in your GCSEs..." was my pragmatic reply. Because what I was really thinking was, "Please, no oh no oh no!" But I knew the school's response would be: "Fabulous! Another head to count towards funding. Let him do whatever he wants, and we'll even give him a special chair in the sixth form common room, right next to the pool table and within a cue's jab of the fridge"...