I’m a person that’s always done quite well in school. Never top of the class, but always top set. Never answers all the questions, but sits back in the quiet satisfaction that I could answer most of them if I wanted to.
My GCSE results were a mixed bag: the first A* I’d ever seen in my life for maths, but A for all my science subjects. The same was true across the board- excellent results for some, meh for others. Saying that, though, nothing was below an A. I just have really high expectations.
Almost exactly two months before I was handed a white envelope, my maths teacher made an announcement to the class that, just because we were top set now, It didn’t mean it would always be so. As she said this, she looked me straight in the eyes and I dropped my gaze. I knew exactly who she was talking to. Just a few weeks before that, she has more or less told me to drop all aspirations of becoming a doctor because I was simply too stupid.
I wonder what she would think of my A* that she thought I would never get? Well, as of so far, she’s avoid my gaze, picking on others around me during the induction assemblies rather than let me prove her wrong.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a hate rant, I respect this woman very much. She’s smart, she has a sense of humour, she’s good at controlling a class. But she unmistakeably has a habit of writing people off.
My best friend has a maths teacher for a father and a nurse for a mother. You’d think from that information that she would be an academic genius, right? Well so did my maths teacher. (Let’s call her Mrs X.) But after a few months, she warned my friend to accept the very real possibility of a C at the end of the course.
She got an A*.
Mrs X is now my head of 6th form. She has a story she’s fond of telling which I’m going to share with you now:
The grasp of a medical future didn’t escape a boy she knew, a very academic and studious type. He far exceeded the 5 A*s she told him he needed, and went on to open his envelope to a perfect row of As.
However, every school he applied to rejected him. He was desperate, his future slipping through his fingers like fine sand or water.
This time, she told us the ending.
The boy gets into medical school.
I think, Mrs X, that says it all.