Slow and Steady

Just call me teacher?

Posted on: June 25, 2010

My course is over… Well, I have one more lesson, but it’s just a lecture and it’s half day.

I am so proud of myself. I can’t begin to tell you how hard it was some weeks, and the amount of times I left the room to cry in the toilets because of pain. The days I dragged myself in and laid on the ‘bed’ they had made for me while listening to the lectures. The amount of times my Dad told me to quit because it was too much.

Not only have I finished, I’ve been awarded with a certificate of exemplary performance. Here is what my tutors wrote:

We were asked to nominate a student who has been exemplary. We chose you because you have never taught before, but have done really well on the course in terms of your level of commitment and the work you have put in despite your disability, your attitude to learning, your achievement and the way you have collaborated with colleagues.

Which moves me on to a worry I’ve got. Employment.

A couple of weeks back, it was my last teaching lesson and it was tied up to an assignment.

The assignment was me choosing a piece of ‘authentic’ material, planning a lesson around it, saying why I chose it and what I hope the students will learn. By authentic they mean not something that has not been changed to make it easier to understand for people learning English.

The assignment had to be handed in to before the lesson. Now because I was teaching directly after the half term, my tutor (lets call her Jane) told me that I could have the half term, as everyone else would, but that I needed to let her see it the day before so she could mark it, and see if there is anything wrong.

I was told by Jane I could do it a certain way, and planned the whole lesson in that way. Now the day before the lesson, Jane wasn’t in in the morning, so I saw the other one (lets call her Jemma). She proceeded to tell me that it was all wrong and I needed to start again.

In hindsight, I didn’t tell her that Jane had OKed it, I was just trying to get my head around the fact that I had to start the assignment from scratch as well as the lesson. I got to work, and I was in college ALL DAY.

In the afternoon, I showed the first part of the assignment and lesson plan to Jane, who said it was fine, but didn’t understand why I had decided to change at such a late stage. I told her it was because Jemma said it was wrong. She looked confused, but then covered it saying OK, if Jemma said so then it had to be done.

The next day I taught the lesson. I wasn’t 100% happy with it, but my colleagues raved about it, as did the students and the tutors. Jemma apologised for making me re-do everything and said if she had known Jane had OKed it, she would have let it pass even though it was wrong, as it was Jane’s mistake not mine. So what’s the problem I hear you wonder?

I was in college the day before the lesson from about 10.30am to 6pm.

The day of teaching I was there from 9am-5pm. Now after I finished teaching at 11.30, I laid down for the rest of the day. The day after I couldn’t move. I was in so much pain I cancelled everything that week from swimming to doctor appointments.

One of my class mates text me about a job going she thought I should apply for, so I had a look, and when I looked at the hours per week I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it. So I went on a few TEFL sites, and I really don’t think I’m going to be able to get employed in the physical condition that I am in.

I’m trying to stay positive, and have looked at doing some voluntary work so I can have experience on my CV, but I am upset that I may not be able to use something that I’ve worked so hard for.

It feels like everytime I attempt to make a step forward, I get pushed back, and it’s really pissing me off.

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1 Response to "Just call me teacher?"

[…] a bit anxious about whether or not it had been worth me doing the teaching course because the awful flare up I had in the last few weeks of the course. I did find some voluntary work teaching English on a 1 to 1 basis. I seem to be the only one on my […]

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