Missing Inaction

It isn’t like me to go without posting for so long, but we had an exhausting, sleep-deprived week last week that had me otherwise occupied.

The problem was the course work that my daughter had to complete over the Christmas holiday for the first part of her TEFL degree. It was an enormous task.

There were three 6,000 word essays to write, another of 4,000 words, lessons to plan and online surveys to design, plus gleaning from the hillock of reference books that has grown in our dining room.

With a week to go before it was due to be handed in, Miss P was in a state of despair and on the verge of throwing in the towel, so we had to coax and encourage her along, talk through the issues, ply her with cups of tea and generally offering help where we could.

I was up until the early hours each night and on Thursday we were up all night as she neared her deadline.

Mrs P played an absolute blinder with the planning, using her academic experience, while I collated references, downloaded data, burned CDs and printed off the reams of paper involved.

The thing was, Miss P was convinced that everyone else on the course had completed the work long ago and that she was the only one burning the midnight oil. No-one else is struggling, she told me, at least not according to the messages on their Facebook group.

But they were, of course. Miss P got to university to hand in her work with thirty minutes to spare to find some of her course mates in tears and another begging for an extra 15 minutes so she could finish printing it off.

Whatever the outcome, I’m proud of my daughter and the effort she has put in. It is much better to try and fail than give up without a fight.

As for me, my sleep pattern is returning to normal and hopefully I will have enough left in the tank to spare for my blogging.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Roger Green 17th January 2012

    The broader message is that almost everyone else’s lives seem peachy, but most of us put on a facade, at least part of the time.
    Congrats to Miss P and her supportive parents!

  • Elizabeth 17th January 2012

    Well done, Miss P, and well done to both of you for being able to support her through it. I have this same thing with one of my sons at the moment and he too gets so stressed about assignments, burns the midnight oil and turns up to hand it in only to find that others haven’t batted an eyelid over handing in late.
    I told you previously that I did TEFL qualifications; there is a tremendous amount of work involved in it and in many ways it never stops as the teacher adapts new methods for each learning situation, but, whether your daughter makes it a full time career choice, or otherwise, I know that she will find it challenging but so so rewarding. Empowering people with the gift of language is an extremely special thing. x

  • Mr Parrot 17th January 2012

    Thank you both. The thing that struck me when going through the TEFL text books was the failures of the authors to analyse their own use of the language which is far from plain English. One memorable section compared the effect of attitude versus aptitude in language learning, but said the two were ‘orthongal’ which was a word I had to look up!

  • Elizabeth 17th January 2012

    Hmm…having just looked it up 🙂 , I think that it would still be very far from my first choice of word to describe such an effect! I sincerely hope that the person who wrote the text didn’t use such language in her/his, no doubt vast, working experience with confused non-english speakers. x


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