As teachers, we had prepared ourselves for many outcomes, but not for disillusionment, indifference and an overwhelming sense of defeatism. According to the students, the government had scrapped exams so why were they still in school? Upon learning that a semblance of exams would go ahead, they were unable to reverse the effects of lockdown and join us in our fight towards the finish line. The false starts of the year had caused them to exchange their running shoes for slippers.
It is now seven months on, and I am met with a different phenomenon. My students want to do well in their upcoming GCSEs but there is a cloud hanging over them, the uncertainty of tomorrow.
"What if there is another lockdown, Miss?"
"Will our exams really go ahead?"
In Pearson’s autumn insight insight survey, teachers were asked to consider how their cohorts are usually doing at this point in the year, and identify areas in which their current pupils are either further ahead, or not as far ahead, as a result of the pandemic. Reduced academic motivation was reported by 34% of primary school teachers and 45% of secondary school teachers.
Boosting academic motivation
This is an incredibly challenging time for teachers; an indelible air of uncertainty hovers over our classrooms. There is a sense that we cannot truly move forward. But we must. Lockdown has impacted our learners, but we must strive to boost their academic motivation: