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The Trials and Tribulations of My Last Weeks of Sixth Form

BY: Daniel Gardre | Category: Education | Submitted: 2012-09-12 09:43:47
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Article Summary: "I describe my tough road to getting into University, especially focused on my English Language course and my teachers mistakes..."

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I have recently been accepted into my "firm" university after months of wondering whether or not I had done enough in my exams. The strange thing is that, up until a few weeks before I would receive my grades, I had no feeling of dread whatsoever. I had a feeling I had done enough, especially as in history, a prefered subject had been the focus of the exam.

Seeing as though I am French, my exam in this field went smoothly as well, especially the oral section. Finally, English Language exam had gone well yet this was the subject I was most anxious about. Although I had practiced writing essay after essay for many a month and felt I had prodcued a good piece of work in the hall, I stil had my reasons for being nervous.

During the school year, I had gone from an A standard student in English to a C, but through no real fault of my own. The teaching of the course is split between two teachers who we shall name A and B. Now to start with, "A" had to visit hospital for an unkwown reason once or twice every week, which is understandable if she had something serious wrong. My problem however was with how the school handled this. Instead of ensuring we had the same substitute for these missed lessons, we had to endure an endless flow of them, most of which weren't interested in the slightest in English Language.
This was a similar problem with teacher B who was "ill" every week. She did not necessarily take a day off every week (although it was close enough to that) but her constant whining of being ill and telling her pupils her problems wasted so much time that we barely finished the course in time for the exam.

The subject of whining brings me right back to teacher A who through years of motivation schooling (although she denied she attended such a class, I find it hard to believe after her inspiring speeches) decided that the method which would get the best out of her pupils would be to begin every lesson with a moan. These normally lasted between 15 and 30 minutes, wasting even more of our time while giving us a sense of hopelessness. As my friend aptly said, "she's basically saying that we're all stupid and that if we don't go to University we won't make it in life!". Inspiring stuff I know.

This is not even the biggest reason I have to make teacher A the subject of my article. In my course with her, I had to write two articles on language change for my coursework. I chose, as nearly every boy in the class did, to write about the changing language used by football commentators. My first piece was, in her words, "good enough" for an A grade student, although it was later marked as a low B. In my opinion, a professional who does not care for his or her field should not be in that area of work. Not caring enough about her pupils to even try to enhance my grade shows a total disdain for the field of English.

To make matters worse, my second piece of coursework could be on any subject I was told. In as plain English as I could muster, I asked again whether I could compose my piece as an article focused on the change in language of politicians. It had to be written with a comical tone and I thought Mayor of London Boris Johnson would make a perfect centerpiece for my work. After weeks of drafting and redrafting (with the help of my parents), I had finally finished the article and was thoroughly enthused about the grade I would receive. Upon filling in all of the paperwork required, teacher A thought that the correct time to tell me I actually had to talk about the same subject in both pieces of coursework would be one and a half weeks before the deadline day. How can anyone even think not to double check if she is correct if their students grade depends on the answer given. I checked with a source I thought would be reliable yet her last minute statement left me dumbfounded. I somehow managed to escape from the wreckage with a B yet I am still angry that I could have got straight A's in all three of my subjects if my teachers were competent.

Ultimately, I finished the year with A's in both French and History (with the highest mark of the year in both) and a B in English Language, although I won't go into details. This led to me being accepted into Southampton University where I will be studying French and Spanish come the first of October.

About Author / Additional Info:
I am an aspiring English-French journalist with a keen interest in sports, especially football, as well as languages.

Comments on this article: (1 comments so far)

Comment Comment By Comment Date
Your article is a great inspiration for me. I am Mexican-Spanish and English has always been a tough thing for me. Your article inspires me. Thank you. Joseph 2012-09-12 20:31:03 1494

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