Welcome to the inside of my head.

Posts tagged ‘lesson’

107. Constructive Criticism

Today I had my mid-internship feedback session. It was supposed to be informal but my blood pressure was elevated the entire time. I’m not sure why I was so nervous- maybe it’s because I’ve never had feedback like this before or maybe I was bracing myself for criticism.

My line manager said lots of nice stuff but of course it is the negatives that stick out and keep replaying in my mind. Though of course they weren’t negatives, they were ‘constructive criticism’. The biggest of these was how I wasn’t making the most of the social scene which is a toughie as far as criticism goes. It’s not something like ‘Aliya you need to be on time’- that’s very easily rectifiable. This is more like Aliya we think you need to be more outgoing- that kinda requires a personality transplant.

Now a lot of things that make you ‘outgoing’ are things I don’t do. I don’t drink. I don’t club. That is not my lifestyle and it’s not something I’m prepared to compromise on. But I am guilty of not speaking to enough people when I have the opportunity. I mean I know the people around me pretty well but not so much people on the other floors outside of people I’ve worked for. But that’s what I’m like. I take time to warm to people and I prefer small intimate circles rather than big networks. It’s not that I’m scared of an awkward conversation- I just hate inane conversation. I like quirky. I’m not interested if you were out clubbing till 3am and that you’re still hung over but I am interested if you can click your fingers in 8 different ways.

So how did I take all of this?

Well obviously I didn’t love hearing it but I can’t dispute it either. All of her comments were fair and justified. I just need to decide what to do about it now.

I mean I could force myself into being more of a social butterfly but it would be temporary. What’s the point of faking it to get a graduate offer and then going back to my reclusive self? That’s IF I get one. I don’t think I will and in that situation it might for the best- I’d be better off at a smaller company.

Why have I been watching this for the last 5 minutes?


Over and Out!

42. More moaning

Last Friday I was so happy and relaxed because I had the day off and didn’t have to go to a secondary school and teach. Well I had to go this week and it was like the world was taking its vengeance for me having last week off. Genuinely had the one of the worst lessons of my life.

The day didn’t start wonderfully. The bus I take to get to the station was just epicly late and it was so packed, I physically couldn’t get tissue out of my pocket to blow my nose. Hence my nose was drooling the entire time so everyone was throwing me dirty glances for sniffing. Sorry.  After that the district line kept bloody stopping. It is extremely frustrating sitting in an immobile train when you know you’re late.

As for the lesson… the teacher refused to start until everybody was quiet. That would be the ideal situation but realistically, there will always be one person talking or shuffling or fidgeting or dropping something that makes noise. And there’s always one silly kid in the class that has to say something at the last second and cause even more delays. It genuinely took 25 minutes to begin, in which time me and Shakira were standing at the back twiddling our thumbs and feeling bloody awkward.

There are a few kids in that class that are really volatile. They can flip in an instant. You have to constantly be on your guard because if they’re unhappy, they lash out by picking up the nearest thing and throwing it or kicking it. This might be their maths book or a chair for example. They have no regard for who or what is around. I mean that’s the behaviour of a toddler… just being a pain in the arse to get attention.

Bad attitudes are abundant. I don’t know who these kids think they are. I genuinely fear what will happen to them when they get older. They can’t even speak coherently (‘Did I arsk for your opinion?’). Who the hell is going to hire them? There was one girl who particularly ticked me off. There’s one thing being cheeky but she was downright rude and ignorant.  I asked her a basic question and she said ‘I can’t be bovvered’. I shouldn’t have let it get to me but it did and I blurted ‘then I can’t be bothered to help you’. I know it’s bad. Blah blah I shouldn’t have said it. But why do children seem to have more rights than the teacher? She gets to say whatever the hell she likes but oh noo you can’t retaliate. Bullshit.

Another thing. The language is appalling. They’re only 11/12 years old and some of the stuff coming out of their mouths is vile. I’m not a saint. I swear and use bad language too but never in school and certainly not to the teachers. Seriously-the teacher said something to a boy and he said deadpan ‘suck my balls‘. He got sent out.

Most of the class was held behind for 25 minutes at lunch and the teacher left us unsupervised with for a bit. She’s not supposed to do that -_- As soon as she left, they started packing their bags and putting their coats on as if to leave. By this point I was freaking out. How am I meant to singlehandedly stop 15 kids from stomping out. What am I supposed to do… barricade the door?! Thankfully none of them made any serious attempt to leave (thank you God).

Last but not least, Shakira and me were supposed to be taking this lesson but it got cancelled at the last minute because the teacher was supposed to be inspected. Guess what? No inspector. We slaved away for a week making their resources and getting everything ready and it got delayed for no reason.  Not impressed.

As you can probably tell, I’m in a fantastic mood right now. I’m supposed to be going my friend’s party. She said she would call when enough people had turned up and it was okay to come. I’ve been ready since half 6 and it’s now half 8 and still no call. I am borderline in tears of frustration. She hasn’t texted me back and won’t return my calls. Sitting at my computer blogging in my party gear… I look pretty pathetic.


13. M3T

I’m doing a module this year at university called M3T: Communicating Mathematics. I have to spend half a day a week for 11 weeks at a secondary school which breaks up the standard term of just attending lectures. It also means one less exam because it is entirely assessed by a project, journal and oral presentation. I’d take that over an exam any day.

Yesterday was my first visit to the school and well… there’s going to be lots to write about in the journal. We had a training day at a different school about a month ago where pretty much every minute of the lesson was accounted for. The children didn’t even have a chance to think about being disruptive.  This school couldn’t be more different. There is none of that structure. In one class, children got up, walked around and changed their seats whenever they wanted.

With that said, the children are great. Individually they are responsive and inquisitive. They’re happy to accept help and they are appreciative that you’re there to help which I didn’t feel at the super-structured school. I was bent down helping one of the kids and a kid I helped earlier, pulled up a chair for me. I was so touched! I’m so glad I’m at this school. I definitely think I can make a positive impact and the atmosphere there reminds me of my secondary school. The children casually insulting each other, walking in packs, chanting and cheering made me smile. I’m used to this.

The most memorable part of the day was when a Year 7 boy (who was looking decidedly queazy from the start) puked up everywhere… on the trousers, on the floor, on the table. This led to lots of EWWWW-ing followed by LET’S HAVE A LOOK. They knew it was vomit but they were climbing over each other to see it and I seriously thought another 2 or 3 of them would follow suit and throw up too. They didn’t (thankfully).  Quite a first visit. Hopefully my second will be less dramatic.