My very own website!!! Yikes!

Teens: everything changes, everything stays the same!

It has been an incredibly busy couple of weeks as I have been invigilating exams every day.
They are not called mock exams any more, they are now Pre Public Exams or PPEs.

So was the word ‘mock’ meaning that they were not being taken seriously and now an acronym gives more gravitas?
No. The teens treat them just the same as ever. The ones who want to do well try their best and the ones that don’t care write their name and go to sleep.


I have been utterly incredulous this week. A boy has just got back from a 4 week holiday with his parents. He hasn’t revised. He doesn’t care and apparently neither do his parents.
How is this possible?! I have just spent the weekend supporting my children with their homework (I allowed Anya to use glitter, it wasn’t pretty! I immersed coins in different liquids for Matthew). When they have exams I will be testing them, helping them, encouraging them to try their best.
The thing that has stood out for me this last fortnight is the lack of individuality compared with previous years. The girls all seem to have high up ponytails which then droop down over their papers. At least it covers their heavily structured eyebrows!
One girl in particular has caught my attention. Last year I thought she was very natural and pretty, how I imagine Anya may turn out in 10 years. What a difference a year makes! Now she has makeup so thick and orange that she actually looks blank, completely devoid of any character.

Thinking about bags next. The boys continue to have functional backpacks like I had as a child but the girls have fancy handbags that barely contain all of their belongings.
Fingernails! OK here I can relate a bit. I used to keep my nails long but some of these girls have perfect manicures and can barely hold a pen to write with them! Ridiculous (but so so pretty)
Teenagers are changing but they are also staying the same. I think today’s teens seem much older but not necessarily wiser than we were. They try too hard to fit in because they haven’t learned to love themselves for who they are. They aspire to be famous and celebrated. Social media has led to changes in friendship dynamics which I can’t even imagine. Teens want the affirmation of others when they should be discovering confidence in themselves. Some have not been set boundaries by their parents so have misplaced confidence which has spiraled into arrogance.
These children (because despite what they want us to think, they ARE still children) will learn for themselves that ‘beauty fades, dumb is forever’ as Judge Judy frequently says. I hope my children keep their love of learning but I will be there to nag them about their schoolwork!
My school reunion this year made me grateful for the years of experience I now have. I wouldn’t be a teen again if you paid me a million pounds…


  1. Great post. I’ve still got a while to go until I hit the teen years (9 to be precise) but it’s weird because my own teenage years only feel like 5 years ago. When they’re actually more like 15.


  2. I think the problem with teens is often their parents. A woman was complaining to me that the school was giving her grief about her kid’s attendance, and I had to point out I thought it was because they were wanting her to work with them on the issue. Very strange for a FINAL year student. Teenagers, an unknown adventure….#Stayclassymama

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