Wishing you Happy Times and Places

An open letter to my leaving students

As teachers we don’t usually get to mark ‘final’ exams. We only get to see the results of all those years of study as you do, on results day. This year is again different. I know what grades you are getting. But then so do you. We worked it out together, as a team, me and you.

It was unusual marking these, your final exams. You got so many tricky questions completely correct. I don’t mean just the short answer ones, but the explanation ones and the ones with complex calculations. It’s interesting seeing you do so well because I remember teaching you all that stuff but you soon won’t remember learning any of it. But it’ll all be there, in you, it’s become part of you now, your knowledge, cut off from me. The goal of any teacher is that the student surpasses the master. It’s my job to give you what you need to become more and to go on and do bigger and better things. 

Some of you leaving in year 13 I taught in my first year here in when you were tiny scruffy year 8s. Those of you leaving in year 11 were still in the junior school when I started at Fyling Hall. Does it seem like a long time ago to you, or did it all race by in the blink of an eye?

I’m resigned to the fact that you won’t remember much of my lessons, or indeed any lessons, or any part of school life, as the next years go by and it all fades away as you meet new people and have new experiences. You just won’t have cause to remember how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown, human memory doesn’t work like that. On some level perhaps you’ll remember a feeling. All I can hope for now is that it’s a warm and welcome feeling.

Maybe, many decades from now, you’ll hear some music, or some other trigger, that will call up some long forgotten feeling from the distant past. Perhaps you’ll remember the fun we had and raise a glass to your old teacher, back here in the before time, who did try his best to give you what you needed. And I’ll still be here, long, long ago, raising a glass forward to you and all your dreams and futures and hopes and loves and joys.

To all of you and yours,

You were fantastic.

Wishing you Happy Times and Places,


Ayd Instone, Head of Physics & Enrichment