Pause for Thought – Exam Results

This morning as I was driving to pick up the geography examination results I heard Sarah Joseph giving the Radio 2 ‘Pause for Thought’, on the Chris Evans breakfast show.

I think whatever the outcome of your own (whether they be the results of your own or your students – personally I am more nervous now then when I was a student!) it is worth while to put things in perspective.

My transcript is below:

“But 25 years ago [when I received my results] it did not fell like your whole life ahead of you depended on those results, which is rather in stark contrast to today, where children are told unless they get a clutch of top exam grades they can’t hope to have a future, which is ridiculous in my opinion.

Plenty of things go wrong in life, but the future still unfolds. 

Plenty of children are late bloomers and may not be ready the moment when the system says they must be. Its all too easy to become obsessed with grades and league tables and key performance indictors. And forget that children are actually human beings all with their own unique blessings. And surely there are better things to measure a person by. 

Whats the point of it all unless we are caring, loving, engaged human beings. For surely that is the proper judgement of a life.

I’m not diminishing that striving for excellence in any endeavour is important, including exams, but the truth is, whatever is in those envelopes this morning; good, bad, or in between it is not the end of the world.

For all of us every single new day is the beginning of something, our past and all that went before shapes us, but it does not have to define us.

It’s never too late to make a change, it’s never too late to think the path you have gone down is the wrong one.

Its never too late to commit more fully and more wholesomely to the path you are actually on. 

The important thing is to grasp life with both hands and be the very best human being that we can be.”

I think this is an important message; we can’t let exam results define us.

 The above was broadcast on Thursday 23rd August on BBC Radio 2; there may be mistakes in my transcript.

For the next seven days you can ‘listen again’ on the BBC Website ; pause for thought begins at 2:54.