Well I got stuck with 55%. What a totally crap score! I had been waiting for a week for my result back from my tutor of my penultimate school placement for my second year at . I knew I had to get 40% to pass but I had been reassured I was fine. People kept singing my praises telling me how well I had done, how they were so impressed with my ability to actually control the children and earn their respect, to listen to feedback and advice and use constructivley in my approach to and how I had established a good teacher present. I had even felt a lot better about myself this time. I felt in control. I was the teacher and that was my class. Last placement I had felt like I had been hearded like a stray sheep back to its flock by some lasoo brandashing cowboy and I had no clue what I was doing, no urge to teach my way and no understanding of how the classroom functions on a day to day basis.

So why on earth did I get 55 when that was a score so close to last time? My tutor had spoken to the lady who had been my tutor on the previous placement and they all agreed; I had seriously improved and was doing really well. On my assessment form the tutor had even written “Samantha has made pleasing progress”. So how comes I only progressed a few marks? People I knew on my course who didn’t understand and/or enjoy had got better grades and this made me extremely angry. One girl who had done so badly last time managed to get 67. What was that all about?!

At this point I had the (stupid) idea to rebel. No more was I going to put an effort into listening in lectures. No more was I going to suck up and see if I could get a few extra brownie points by being nice. I pay over £3,000 a year to do this and to get rubbish results like that had really peeved me off. So I turned up for all of a week with no paper, no pen and definatly no highlighter to lectures. I left my phone on because I knew how much that irritated them in lectures when people’s mobiles went off. Unfortunatly for me I have very few friends and the majority of them were sitting in the room with me at that moment. My and parents were at work. Nothing.

Seeing that my apparent rebellion against the educational system in the was failing I stood up and was determined to do what I always do in such situations. Give up.

Still my presentation on the country of Burma for the unit “Beyond the Curriculum Boundaries” seems to have gone well. Of course I won’t find out yet what score I got as that comes in August and is only currently (and just) May. Even the principle of the college came into our tent to see what resources we had created and how they pushed children’s learning beyond the aims and outcomes of the National Curriculum. Of course I had no bloody idea who she was because I had never met her before. I just thought she was a nice lady who must either a. work at the or b. be related to one of the students doing their presentations at the same time. So I spoke to her in the most informal way possible full of my usual linguistic flaws such as “like” and “erm” and “ya know what I mean?”. makes me cringe on looking back. When the tutors came round to assess our resources my group were all nervous. “What do we say?”, “How can I say this benefits children’s learning?”, “I’m so scared I’m going to do crapply on this one” etc. I sat there trying to look all cool and collected with my Bart Simpson way of wriggling out of such situations; I will simply blag ! I know how to talk the talk and twist words so that they work in my favour although my would grossly disagree with this as he is often pointing out that I have used a word rather bizarrely in a sentence and therefore is incredibly worrying that I am children the English language.

My two resources were very good if I do say so myself. The first was a traditional Burmese dance that featured me and two of my group members doing the whole dance movement of patting the dog with one arm and screwing in the light bulb with another (practise is very hard just like patting your head and rubbing your tummy). I had included a step by step guide for teachers to follow and the DVD with the video of the dance on. My whole talk on this one was seriously blagged. I explained that was to challenge children’s stereotypes of Burma as is run by the military and quite oppressive and that children would have to study the other resource before they had done this. I had even included a lesson plan that talked about children doing the dance and discussing their preconceptions and their evaluations, just so I could say that children who were physically impaired or didn’t like to dance could join in with the lesson.

The second resource was an interactive CD Rom called Burma: An Exploration which I was very proud of seeing as had taken mainly an afternoon to do whilst Adam was rehearsing his play. looked at the human rights issues and citizenship through the eyes of a child called Yangami and what was like living there in comparison to living here. The tutors seemed pretty impressed by this resource which gave me a bit of a confidence boost because secretly inside I had been panicking. In fact the day before I had some kind of attack that I now refer to as my miniture heart attack that I think was either an Angina or Panick attack. Though how was panick attack I don’t know because I was laughing at the time started …

The tutors asked if I had taken ICT as my subject specialism. I told them “no” and that I was doing History because I love . I then made the stupid mistake of referring to my and the fact that he works with computers. I get the cold look and “wrong answer”. Uh-oh. Everyone’s eyes are on me …

However I know I have myself covered. I quoted who I needed to. I wrote about how this resource would benefit children etc. That provided the information they needed there and the tutors had also taken notes about my resources so I should be fine. On the other hand however I can not help but reflect on what happened with my placement score. Should I relish in the fact that I know I worked my arse off and that I deserve a good grade so therefore I should get one? Or should I not believe a word academics tell me and resign myself to the fact that I will get a lower grade than someone who didn’t put as much effort into as I did? Tough call.

Either way that is what I will be waiting for all summer. A sign that finally my hard work has paid off and that I get the grade I deserved. When asked by my mother yesterday what grade I would like to get when I get out of I replied a 2:2 which is the equivalent to a C. Her face really did fall. She kept saying “Oh you can do better than that, you can get at least a 2:1″ but I don’t think she understands that my academic successes in the past do not always reflect in the situation I am now in. I don’t do wonderfully on my , I do work at them but I also recognise the importance of having a life while I’m still young. While this doesn’t necessarily mean I am going to go out and get absolutly paraletic every evening (or day for that matter) like the majority of the student population, I would still appreciate the time I could have to myself, to read a good book, to see my , to go for a nice cold glass of wine down along the quay and watch the swans swimming past or possibly a picnic outside the cathedral. And for some reason this is why I appear to be punished in my results of 40% in the majority of my . While I look at what is practical and realistic by getting a 2:2, my parents don’t seem to have a concept that I can not achieve higher without sacrificing everything else that is important in my life. is already quite challenging for me and has brought ’s share of personal problems in my life that have brought mainly lows instead of highs and as a result I now understand the saying about school being the best years of your life. Now I have troubles as I grow older. How can I afford to buy food? How can I pay the bills if the government are giving me less than everyone else just because my parents earn over a certain salary annually? How the hell am I ever going to get out of here and start living?

I guess I should just resign myself to the fact that these questions that are deeply troubling me will nibble away at the back of my mind until I am out there alone in the big wide world and I have to face them with nothing but my bank card and my folder of grades all listed as 40%.

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