Today one of my students came up to me and asked for a reference for their college application. I want to be very clear that I don't dislike this student. It is just that he has all the emotional depth and commitment to learning of a cardboard cutout of himself. In fact I often believe that his exam results would improve substantially if the cardboard cut-out was allowed to sit the exam.
I think it will be easily evident the connundrum that I was faced with.I do not want to be the sole cause of this student not making it into college, but at the same time I can't abide false references. Therefore I am currently trying to refine the most apathetic, and euphemism-filled reference mankind has ever seen. Look upon this and live in fear. I am calling this child Jimmy for privacy purposes.
Jimmy is both in my English class and under my charge as a member of my form. He has some difficulty in some lessons but he does endeavour to rectify this. He is never a problem behaviourally and is a pleasant student to converse with. He has a number of close friends and never causes any issues pastorally.
Outside of school he is engaged in a number of extracurricular activities, including boxing, which he commits to on a regular basis. He has had success in this vein, winning a number of fights. He obviously enjoys a range of sports, having performed well in BTEC PE over the past two years. Jimmy has also shown promise in Maths, where he has secured his ‘C’ grade early on.
When conversing with myself and other members of staff Jimmy is always polite and respectful and maintains a happy disposition at all times. This demeanour demonstrated itself during his work experience at a bike shop where he was well received by other staff and was given a positive report at the end of the time spent.
This is a hard task. A genuinly difficult task. The next student that asks me I am saying no.