I like the way you worked your way through this…you’ve put in a lot of time and effort here…although you didn’t quite get there, you’re thinking in the right ways here…This will build resilient young people who learn from their mistakes, are realistic about themselves, take personal responsibility, don’t blame others for their own shortcomings and are, as a consequence, the architects of their own improvement. I told this story to a group of sixth formers when talking at a conference in Birmingham a couple of years ago: I’m waiting to hear how my son Tom has got on in a crucial module exam the results of which will impact on his final degree marks and his wish to continue onto a Masters course. He’s going to text me in the next half hour is it OK if I keep my phone out on the table? [They were eager by then to know his result] Let’s suppose – I continued – that his result is disappointing; since you are nearer in age to him than me, I need your advice about what I should do. There are five choices, I could say…
- Never mind Tom, there’s more to life than what you do in exams – you’ll get over it
- OK so what can you learn from this to put right in the future?
- I’ll put some money in your account – take your girlfriend out for an evening
- What you were saying about the quality of teaching makes me wonder if you were prepared properly for this
- This is clearly not fair, all your scores so far haven’t suggested this outcome – some questions need to be asked about the marking – can you appeal