Around June, everybody at Pingle Sixth Form, students and teachers, starts to get nostalgic. Although there have been days when they have struggled, strained and been disappointed, our Year 13s, as they reach their final ever school day, cannot help but reflect upon, and remember fondly, the time that they’ve spent here; as teachers, all of our stresses and worries, the countless hours we’ve agitated over our students’ well-being and grades, fade rapidly into memory, leaving behind a simple, sharp feeling that we all of us share, the feeling that we’re going to miss all these people.
Because, by the end of A-Levels and Sixth Form, that’s what our Year 13s have grown into: they aren’t kids any more, or students, or “school-goers”; they’re young adults. The experiences that they’ve had and which every day we as teachers have tried to guide them through have shaped these people not just academically but personally and emotionally. Our goal is that when they leave our classrooms for the final time, they do so equipped with everything that they may need in order to face the world. Watching this happen--our talented, dynamic and incredibly smart young people who we’ve had the privilege of teaching for the last two years, walk out of Pingle completely ready for the next stage in the lives—is enormously rewarding. Of all the moments from all the different jobs I’ve done in my life, that one is, and I imagine always will be, the best.
So, this time of year is bittersweet. The Year 13s are going to miss their school. We’re going to miss having them here. But they know that they have many, many great things ahead of them and we know that they’re going to flourish, and thrive, and use what we’ve taught them to make for themselves happy lives. It’s a hard part of the job, watching them go. But the students we get at Pingle Sixth Form are always, every year, bright, vibrant and a joy to work with, so as teachers here we can all take comfort in getting to begin this journey again.