Monthly Archives: August 2016

It’s Been An Education

Today’s the day when GCSE results are announced. My social media feeds are full of congratulatory messages from parents and friends to their own and each other’s children, photographic evidence of grades, and excited updates about planned celebrations.
We’re still sitting here waiting to find out how Emma has got on. Because we can’t exactly pop down the road, we arranged for the exam centre to email us her results, and that won’t be until after 1pm UK time – so 3pm for us – when the office closes.
In hindsight, maybe we should have arranged for a friend to collect her results, but to be honest there’s a bit of me that says it doesn’t matter what happens anyway.
Emma already has four GCSEs under her belt (one taken at school before we left the UK and three, including English language, taken last year). She has pretty much educated herself for the past two years, and I couldn’t be prouder of her attitude.
Given her age and the language barrier, ripping her out of England and dropping her into the Turkish education system wasn’t really an option. So, instead, we decided to go the remote study route.
We signed up with an organisation in the UK, chose her courses, and off we went. She’s had an assigned tutor for each subject, who I have to say have varied wildly in terms of the quality and level of support they have provided.
Either way, though, Emma has had to be incredibly self-motivated and disciplined. We worked out a timetable together and helped where we could, of course, but ultimately we’re not teachers and we don’t have in-depth knowledge of anything outside our own specialisms.
She’s got on with it. She’s got her head down and ploughed on, and I really hope she believes me when I tell her that I am equally proud of her whether she gets As, Cs or Es. In all honesty, I don’t believe grades matter that much at this stage anyway; O levels, GCSEs, whatever they turn into next are really only a stepping-stone to the next level. I was pretty much a straight-A student, but nobody has asked me what I got in my exams since the year I took them.
Em has already been offered a sixth form place back at her old school in England, so we’ll be travelling back soon to settle her ahead of the new term. Whatever her academic qualifications end up being, she’s had two years of the most amazing experiences that will stand her in good stead when it comes to facing life’s challenges.
I can’t deny it will be hard to return to Turkey without her, and neither Steve nor I are looking forward to having an ’empty nest’….it’s a new beginning for us all.
Here’s to you, Emma. We’re so proud of the young lady you’ve become and wish you all the happiness in the world. Now go and check that email – it’s nearly 3pm.