We love our students. FE teachers don’t tolerate crap wages, national invisibility and government policy as an afterthought because we’re very specific, edu-based sadomasochists. It’s because our singular quest is to support our students towards learning what will ultimately give them a better life. After consulting esteemed colleagues on Twitter and Facebook, I have collected some of the infuriating phrases that students come out with, year-in, year-out. I have also provided the reply that takes place only in my head.
‘This is boring’
I do apologise, Brianna, I know functional skills classes are renowned for their atmos of rolling mardi gras, but my tiki torch and Bacardi Breezer budget is frighteningly low this week. So we’ll continue learning where to stick an apostrophe, shall we?
‘My dad/mum/gran/boss says I don’t need to know this’
Get ’em on the phone. Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough. If it’s a war of words, my money’s on me.
‘I don’t get it’
Is it because I didn’t show you in five different ways, giving you a disproportionate amount of my time while you were mouthing to your mate that my lesson was shit? That can’t be it, because I did. Is it because you are genuinely having trouble getting your head around this topic, even though you were totally capable of it last week? Or is it, by chance, that you’re a lazy twerp who can’t be bothered to try? I think we both know the answer.
Sarah Simons works in colleges and adult community education in the East Midlands, and is the director of UKFEchat