The first part of the course was an intensive, two day session held in a windowless basement room opposite the British Library. Previous (misplaced) excitement at thinking that the course would be held within the four walls of said cultural establishment itself were soon quashed upon entering the ‘TEFL Academy’ through a music-blaring newsagent in the pouring rain to be greeted by several unwashed, dreadlocked 20-somethings who were clearly intent on supporting their Gap Yah careers by finding gainful employment in various schools around Asia.
I hate feeling old.
Notwithstanding my admiration towards levels of excellence in the teaching, I spent a good portion of the 20 hours wondering exactly why I felt such an intense desire to physically hurt certain class members. Those who seemed to deem it appropriate to offer up, in place of constructive questions or comments; personal details, minutiae of their families and children and with one woman in particular, an astonishing description of the acceptance of her son into the Scout Association, how exactly that process had transpired and how difficult it had been, how hard it was to come to British shores from Eastern Europe, what certain English words translated to in Hungarian, did we realise that her name was spelt with a J but sounded like our Y, could she open the door because it was stuffy, oh and did I mention my son and the Scouts?
Potentially my patience levels need some attention before I am entrusted with a classroom of French teenagers. All in all I really enjoyed the experience however, especially the teaching practice to the assembled group, leading me to the conclusion that everyone who has been telling me for the past ten years that I should become a teacher (I thought based on just my bossiness), may have had a point. At the very least I now have the option of something valuable to do whilst AM spends his time trying to become a wine-maker. Something different to just drinking the wine…