Peace and Quiet?

So they’re gone.

After (nearly) five years my form have had their last regular day, signed their last leavers’ book page and talked over the register for the last time. A sudden quiet descends and, just like those of us will children will testify, that makes us uneasy. When they’re quiet is when they’re up to something. Hopefully, in their case, revision. But this post isn’t about that, but instead what I wish I’d done while things in the form room were still noisy.

I wish I’d gotten more photos of them achieving – at sports day, during inter form, in their one appalling attempt at an assembly. I did save their first school picture, for a little nostalgia on their last day. Okay, a little sadism too.

I particularly wish I’d got a group photo each year. It would have been nice for them to see how much they’ve grown as a group – the same room, same uniform, but growing from 11 to 16.

I wish I’d kept better track of their other achievements – drama, music, success in school and out of it. A running record, starting in Year 7, would have been useful for reports as well as for final messages. (Writes note for his next form.)

You know, I can’t think of much else. I don’t wish I’d been softer on them, because although it’s been unpopular in places most have admitted that my support – read that as unrelenting attention to the details of planners and deadlines – has helped them to be ready for exams. Over the past few years over a third have had some kind of major issue (court case, bereavement, other family trauma) for which I’ve been able to offer discreet support or help them out behind-the-scenes. It’s just that by the nature of such problems, they wouldn’t admit to their mates was a positive thing. So it goes. I’ll have to live with being the ogre.

And now, I get to enjoy the peace and quiet of a form room with no form. Twenty minutes, morning and afternoon, without kids. Blissful calm.

Until I get a cover…