Friday, 20 July 2012

An Exciting Time for Students

As I sit in my office reflecting on my first year as Principal, I cannot help thinking about what an exciting period 16-19 is in the life of our students.

Students come to Wyke from the security of their high schools and are naturally a little nervous and have some trepidation about the following:

1.         How will I fit in?
2.         Will I make friends easily?
3.         What should I wear?
4.         Where will I go during my free periods and with whom?
5.         How will I get to College in the depths of winter?
6.         Will I enjoy it as much as I did at my school?
7.         What will the quality of teaching be like?
8.         What are the results like and can I do all of the subjects that I want?
9.         How much extra work will I have to do?
10.       Where do most people go when they finish?

The last four questions are often the least important in September. 

These are natural questions and ones that should be asked.  In answer to all of these, I only need to refer back to the students who finished their AS levels about 3 weeks ago.  When they left, they were smiling, confident, mature young adults who were comfortable with themselves, looking forward to the holidays but also optimistic about their future at Wyke and beyond.  I could not help smiling to myself as a few of them said,

"You have a good summer too, Jay",

and one of them sidled up to me and said,

"… I've had a great year.  I wasn't too sure at first because the place is so big and there are so many students like me but I love this College and thanks." 

Wow!  It isn't often that I am speechless but….

It has been a really good year and I have really enjoyed being surrounded by so many enthusiastic, energetic, charismatic, caring, hard-working, conscientious people (colleagues and students) who are full of good ideas and positivity.  I am sorry about using so many superlatives but I cannot help it.  On occasions I have to pinch myself to remind myself that it is not a dream.

That is not to say that it has all been easy.  Sometimes the magnitude of the responsibility weighs upon me, particularly when there are difficult decisions to be made.  Ultimately, all of our work and efforts are judged by the quality of the results that you achieve, and whether you have reached your potential and are able to realise your dreams.  I can assure you that there has been a common purpose in enabling all of you to do extremely well. 

When I think about world events in the news: the Civil War in Syria; Barack Obama's struggle to match the monies raised by the Republican Party in the Presidential Elections; the Libor scandal with the Banks; the difficult marriage of the Coalition; the debacle of the security arrangements for the Olympics and G4S; the increase in the population of the UK; the flash floods in Japan; the plight of the farmers in the UK and their returns on milk production; they all fade into total insignificance in comparison to the publication of results on 16th August.  We wait with optimism and baited breath - almost as much as the proposed takeover of my beloved Leeds United and the start of the new season.

Bob Dylan's Dream

".… I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
That we could sit simply in that room again
10,000 dollars at the drop of a hat
I'd give it all gladly if our lives could be like that".

Have a great summer.