Monday, 31 May 2010

Hanging on to the positive

What a mixed bag of a day.

After spending hours making materials for my next lesson (for today) my trainer (who had already known I was making a Snakes and Ladders game) then told me he didn't think it was suitable because there wasn't enough speaking involved for the students. Of course I could still go ahead if I insisted on using it...

Well what would have been the point of that? I go ahead and not pass? I wasn't falling for that so I said I'd think of something else before I had to teach in less than two hours. Big disappointment and huge pressure. I never know what is really wanted. Somehow all my efforts end up having to be re-done because the goal posts aren't where I thought they were. If effort and student enjoyment were the criteria-no problem. But particular processes are required.

As I tried out one process with Axel last weekend it didn't work as smoothly with him as it does with the students at the  Centre because they are used to the process. But we mustn't deviate from the process for students who don't understand it.

This is foreign to my way of thinking, caring and operating from 10 years of successful teaching but I have to pass this course. I'm not enjoying it. I feel like a loser compared to the others who have no training or experience. Only one other person is more confused than I am.

My colleagues enjoy my teaching but they don't make the decisions. My confidence in myself is at an all-time low. God help me tomorrow when my assessment comes back. If I haven't pleased the trainer that's my money, time and future eradicated. Sound dramatic? You bet. It's that serious for me. No one else on the course has set their future on this qualification as much as I have. Some have parents helping with money and education, some have jobs to go back to, some have husbands who can support them. I'm feeling squeezed by events. It feels as though I'm headed for a 'bottle-neck'.

I'm pretty resilient and I don't quit easily but when you don't know exactly what is required to succeed it's a bit demoralising.

Two lessons today under the belt (successful or not). I'm still trying to prepare a 90 min grammar lesson on conditionals and active and passive voices. I've almost completed part 1 of a student profile assignment. My self-assessment from today is complete as is a peer observation. More lessons and lesson planning required this week too and lots of tests next week.

No wonder we all had to sign a disclaimer about the stress causing problems for students here. I thought it was a bit over-the-top at the time but now I can see why people pack their bags and walk out, as some have done in the past.

On the up-side. A lady who is very active in couchsurfing has offered to spend much of Friday with me in St Brieuc so I can see something of the place, practice my french and make a new friend. Maybe I can drop off some CVs, who knows (only worthwhile if I indeed pass this course). It's important to have some time-out from all this. I'll then head to Rennes to see Pascal and do some more work at his place over the weekend.

The other upside is that I will now be spending an extra night in Paris. Rather than leave Plelauff on the morning after the course, we finish early enough on the 11th for me to travel to Paris and arrive in the evening of the Friday, instead of after lunch on Saturday and this is fine with Frederique. I'm spending my time in Paris with her. She stayed a few days with me when she visited Auckland recetly.

If only the course and finding work would fall into place the way meeting kind french people seems to.

Right. It's heading towards 11pm and I must return to the tangled web of grammar planning.


Defogger said...

Very much with you, hoping you have passed the assessment. I know you have applied yourself and have the capability. All the best...

farfy said...

Hi Frances

Somebody sent me to your blog;-)

I'm with you
and looking forward to picking you up for a nice breakfast at my place next Friday!!!
and after that...we can go for turistic things


Shams said...

I know I am late in reading your blog, sorry been busy and caught up with MIT and preparing to move back to Bahrain in 3 weeks!
I am sure and positive that you have paid all efforts needed for your assessments and preparation. I have no doubt that you will succeed in this course, I am readng on and I am hoping to see more positive things unfold as I read!
Lots of love

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