IT IS DONE!
I scrounged and struggled and clawed my way through it, but I finally got there and now I am officially qualified to Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages.
My apologies for the delay. I've spent the last few days recovering from the overload of work and deadlines and lesson planning and lesson delivery during Week 4. Thus, after celebrating with colleagues on Friday and Saturday, I spent some time with myself and my Playstation and my laptop.
What can I say about Week 4? It should have been the bitch really as the amount of work I had during Week 3 was ridonkulous. But after deciding that my mentality was going to be "get it done and do it quickly", by Tuesday, I had pretty much sorted myself out in terms of deadlines and only had lesson planning to worry about.
This was the week I'd been dreading because Matt was going to be assessing me during my lessons and Matt was the one I'd talked about in my last entry - the one who systematically ripped my colleague's lesson plan apart even before she'd taught it. So this was playing on my mind a great deal because after observing a few of the other lessons, I knew that the content I'd selected was waaaay too easy for this class. I progressed anyway - got through it - and another merit! Whoopdedo!
I think that come the end of the week, I was ready for it to end. The final hurdle for all of us was to be moderated by a moderator from the awarding body - Trinity College. I had expressly asked to be moderated on Saturday because my final lesson was on Friday, but what irritated me the most was that I was the very last person to be moderated that day.
Ultimately, it's one of the four assignments that is moderated externally. We had to pick two materials that we'd used during lessons - one good, one bad. I was wobbly with this because while my bad one was a piece of crap, my good one was just 'okay'. Thus, this, coupled with the fact that I was last made me uneasy. I watched as people would go in and come out and how a weight had been lifted off of their shoulders. And then there was me - twiddling my thumbs - waiting for my turn when all I just wanted was to get in, get out and be free.
Freedom came eventually, however, and about an hour later, we were all given the good news. I was ecstatic and afterwards, we went for pancakes before going home and coming back out again for a good old knees up at one of my colleagues' homes.
It feels weird that I no longer have to go back there for my input sessions in the morning and my teacher practice in the afternoon. I no longer have any cause to barrage Carl with e-mails. I owe Sophia my life because she literally pulled me out of my shell. Standing on chairs became my 'thing' - my way of drawing attention to myself - and now I don't feel so nervous in front of a class anymore; a royal contrast to the way I felt when I first started teaching.
So the first stage has been completed. I've got my qualification (the certificate should surface in November at some point) and now I can go teach the world.
My advice to anyone about this course? Do it. It's bloody hard. There's always work to be done so put your life on hold. You will have your ups and your downs. You will cry. You will laugh. You will meet some awesome people. The tutors won't hold your hand in the slightest. They'll tell it to you straight, but by the end of it you'll be a better person and a better teacher ready to take on the world by storm..