I knew that the last week would be hard, but not as bad as it worked out. We’d been revising and all seemed to go well. They knew there would be a test. Then I sprang on them a visit from some other English people where they would have to talk in English – thanks so much Maria and Karen!!!!! So when Maria talked to Daniela, she got the I don’t understand you, I don’t speak any English. To which Maria quite rightly replied, so why are you here? Major strop out the room. After all Daniela had been sitting for eight weeks and apparently learning, she had taken part in some group work and was able to make simple sentences. She was completely fixed in her opinion and wasn’t going to change it.
So it went downhill. This was my first course, and I’d found the certificates and had prepared them. I was also told that I had to prepare reports, but I didn’t get the forms until Tuesday, and the course would finish on Thursday. So I did what I could, writing in English and German as best I could. On Wednesday when they were doing the test, Hilda the other worker from the company came in to help me – so I was getting support if a bit last minute. I was then told I had to read these reports through with each student. So Hilda scrubbed all I’d written, and re-wrote everything. She didn’t like what I’d put on the certificates so insisted on sending them to a friend for the German to be checked. What could I do? I was bamboozled by the extra German I was unfamiliar with and Hilda was in charge.
So we did the chats. Daniela was first, and I let Hilda do it. Explosion. She claimed everything was my fault for being such a bad teacher, Andrea was soo perfect (that’s not what Andrea told me), how Daniela was on the wrong course (maybe so) , how she hadn’t learnt anything. I said I’d tried to help her and include her on elements that she could as a real beginner understand. Of course this was dismissed and off she stropped. The next candidate, Andrea (the less able woman she’d been influencing) was almost as unhappy because I said she refused my help on the same grounds, but did admit she could be stubborn. I went home like a piece of chewed rag. I had a holiday house to clean, a husband being depressed, and exams to mark. Still I sat and marked slowly and carefully and went early to bed!