For reference lovely readers, a reminder. I do work in a special school and fully appreciate my 'experiences' are not the norm....however I suspect many can appreciate the sentiment.
Dear Year 11,
So you're nearly there, nearly finished, nearly leaving. We know. We've been here before and we want to help you deal with it as best we can, you see we have experience in these matters.
Thing is you forget this, We know. You're all caught up in your hormones and your stress about just about anything, coursework, exams, girls, what you're hair looks like from every possible angle. That's ok, you're a teenage boy. We know. It matters.
You get stressed out about stuff, sometimes for no reason at all. We know its harder since the exams have changed and now you have to write more, we know, we understand, reading and writing are not your strengths. That's why the school let me go on the courses, to help you do better. To help you realise reading is not for 'neeks.'
So we stand there and take your tirade of abuse. We stand there and take the shouting, about how we are only doing it for the money and that we don't care, that we are dirty, nagging, rubbish teachers and many other things that should never be said to an adult who is trying to help you be the best you can. We don't take it personally, though most people would. We know better, we know you.
When we challenge you about this and say that you cannot speak to people this way you laugh, when we say if you did this in public the police could be called you tell us we are stupid. All we are doing is telling you the truth, none of us want you to learn the hard way, we don't want you to get hurt or hurt anyone else. Many of you don't have 'records' and we want it to stay that way.
We also know there is no point letting home know, because we know you probably speak to your mother in the same way. We keep trying every time you speak to us in such a way because we care, we want you to respect other people and treat them how you like to be treated. You'll thank us one day.
You see, we understand. Most of your parents couldn't care less if you got GCSE's or not. You don't even know what revision is, let alone a tutor. We know you are frightened of failing, of looking stupid, of not getting on your college course, we know you're trying to balance some school work with looking after your kid sister or your mum when she's had a few. We know all this. We want it to be different for you, not like for your parents who are still scared of school and won't come and meet us.
So please, let us help you. Let us show you how to revise and find what works for you, let us show you how to try your best so you can be proud of your achievements. Let us help you be able to say 'I tried my absolute best' because that is all that anyone can ever ask of you. Let us guide you about your choices and help you figure out what it is you want in life, because we've got the connections, we know how to make it happen for you. Thing is we're less likely to do these things for you if you are abusive, if you hit us, call us disgusting things or tell us we don't care about you. There is no worse thing you can say to us.
So next time Year 11, when you are going to shout, swear or hit us consider this. We've been there ourselves, and with plenty of teenagers before you and with plenty more to come long after you are gone.
We can help you if you let us.
Sincerely, your teachers.
P.S. We know you'll be back to see us...in about 5 months, that's OK. We understand. We want to see you and for you to tell us exciting stories about what you are doing. It's why we do this job.