I shop, therefore I am skiving

20th June 2008 at 01:00
I'm 23 and training to be a teacher, but I feel like I am 16 years old again
I'm 23 and training to be a teacher, but I feel like I am 16 years old again. I am struggling to do the simplest of sums and my eyes are glazing over as my tutor tries to explain the apparently logical steps of percentages. Or was it fractions? I find myself nodding to the lull of his voice as I whisk myself away to the altogether more appealing land of shopping, books, holidays, and anything except for the job in hand.

When my tutor asks me a question relating to graphs of some sort, I become angry and defensive. Why do I even need to know all this stupid stuff? I will never use it again. Why do I need to work things out in my head? What the hell were calculators invented for? Or for that matter, people who can work things out for you?

My tutor sighs and looks at me wearily. I lower my head and begin to doodle. "It's not my fault I can't do numbers," I moan defensively. "I am an abstract random learner and I don't work well with logic or sequences. It's out of my hands."

My tutor sighs again, but this time he gazes at me more aggressively and says: "It's your own fault, you are trying to cram everything into a few hours before your exam."

I have to concur, my test is tomorrow, and I did decide on a spot of shopping first, but only because it helps me relax. And OK, I did have a lunch break, but only because I deserved it after my trekking around the shops. Anyway, I was revising really. Adding up how many shoes I have, and how many more I need, is a strenuous task.

I am a 16-year-old maths truant, arguing with my father about not doing my homework. Unfortunately, I am trapped inside a 23-year-old trainee teacher's body. I have the desperate (and looming) knowledge that, should I fail, all my hard work, planning lessons, training myself to differentiate, reading copious amounts of literature and teaching varying degrees of pupils, will be in vain, as I will not achieve the glowing beacon of Qualified Teacher Status. I still don't see the point of scatter graphs though.

Keira Lapsley is studying for a secondary English PGCE at the University of Worcester.

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