Achievements 3 – Progress 0.
It’s over three and a half years since this year’s A2s started at school. Quite a lot has changed in that time – two permanent CPs, two temporary ones, further expansion of the centre, and an ever-shifting group of teachers. When I look back, it seems like a long time, and yet, paradoxically, the past two years seem to have flown by with proverbially indecent haste. May and exams have suddenly arrived before we’ve had a chance to blink.
This is the first occasion when I’ve mostly taught the same group of students for three years. In the past, I’ve normally declined to deal with the A2 classes.
[H]im on innan oferhygda dæl
weaxeð ond wridað
as the Beowulf poet wrote. But if this year’s classes have one distinction, it is that they were generally far less obnoxious than students in previous years, although A2(1&3) took it upon themselves to stop bothering with my class some time ago.
Normally by the time we get to the final assembly, I notice that my former students seem to look a little older and a little more mature. Not so this time, apart from one or two. What I started with in PAL or gained in AS still looked pretty much the same.
Certainly, I get little sense that my students matured as people. The immature boys were still behaving like infantile 12-year-olds even after three years; the cipher girls were still ciphers, living in terror that I was going to call on them to answer questions and be articulate. While their results were adequate, neither of my classes really seemed to have much spirit.
We had the final assembly for them yesterday, both A2 and IB2. It was the usual affair, which meant that 96% of the entire ceremony was in Chinese and our alleged role in their education was probably largely forgotten. The speeches lasted an hour, which were then followed by the customary audio-visual cacophony. The IB2s’ efforts were pretty decent, but the A2s’ video paled in comparison. I sat watching and every so often, I’d see the face of a student I’d taught for three years and wonder what their name was. The ciphers had already started vanishing from my memory.
I missed out on the handshaking because it got to a point where I needed to go to the loo, and by the time I got back, it was too late for me to worm my way on stage because the process had already started. I didn’t mind, and didn’t feel I’d missed out. As I also predicted, none of my former students sought me out for photos, or even came to say goodbye; but the year is fizzling out as it always does and I’ve been through so many generations of students over the past twelve years that any sense of nostalgia has long been dead and buried.
No, I’m looking ahead to the future, although quite what I’m going to get landed with I don’t know for certain. The original version of the timetable has been scrapped because of changes to the changes, but I may have fewer teaching hours next year. On the other hand, I’ve said I’d be EE co-ordinator, although I’m not sure how much extra work that entails. I suspect it’ll veer between some periods when there’s a lot to be done, and others when there’s only a little.
Now, where’s the end of the term, and can it arrive a little sooner?