A lesson in humiliation.


I’m burning the candle at both ends to crack on with Particular Stupidities R&M #5. I’m sixty-five thousand words into it. I desperately want to crack on with it but I can’t.

I can’t get on with the book because I have to do an online course of study  just so that I can continue to teach in this country.

I have a BA Hons in Primary Education (First Class) from a respected British university. I have a Diploma in Specialist Teaching Studies. I have Qualified Teacher Status in the UK. I have several years teaching experience in the UK and several more teaching English as a foreign language abroad. But that all counts for nothing because the Ministry of Education here have moved the employment goalposts in the last year. And the only way I can continue to teach here is if I get this certificate that I just know I’m going to end up printing off myself. It costs money (mine) and it costs time – about sixty hours of my life. SIXTY HOURS OF MY LIFE! I’m so pissed off.

I’ve just reached the first ‘test’. It’s multiple choice. Here’s an example:

How many people are estimated to be learning English worldwide?

  1. a) 10 million
  2. b) 100 million
  3. c) 1 billion
  4. d) 2 billion
  5. e) who cares and how does knowing the answer to that make me better qualified to teach English as a foreign language?

Answer: e

Seriously, as a professional it is humiliating.


I’ve given up on so many books this week. Mostly free downloads that ALL started so promisingly and then just became…broken promises. I have also thrown in the towel on a physical book that I gave valuable luggage space to on my return from my homeland. Should I name it? OK, I will. I Am Pilgrim. The Guardian makes the claim on the front cover that it’s the only thriller you need to read this year. It’s nearly nine hundred pages. (Yeah, I know, most unlike me, but it had such great reviews everywhere and I got it cheap in a charity shop.) I enjoyed the first four hundred. But at five hundred I’d had enough. I just can’t pretend that I still want to pick it up.

To fill the void and hopefully rev me back up I moved straight on to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I blogged about it a little while ago. Or rather I blogged about the number of 1* reviews the book has. It’s started well. She writes well for this genre. Lots of readers, including my daughter, have loved the book but been scathing about the ending. I’m looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about. Providing I can finish the thing.

Back to my ‘studies’.

I just had a thought: what if I fail? That would be a lesson in humiliation, especially if I do have to print off my own certificate.

8 thoughts on “A lesson in humiliation.

  1. Before I came to your answer, I’d circled ‘E’ like you. Who the f**k wants to know, and why? I always thought British qualifications were ranked top of the league, and if you remember – well you are probably not old enough – when a teacher came to this country they had to sit a test to be able to teach here even if they were English speaking. It applies still to nurses and Doctors, and they have to have – don’t quote me on this but it was years ago when I was teaching it – a grade 7 and above in EFL. I don’t know Oliver, I suppose you have to count yourself lucky you don’t have to answer the questions in Turkish. When I was teaching in Pakistan the only Urdu I knew was, banana, water and thank you. As you probably have guessed by now I eat an awful lot of banana’s.

    • Hi Pat
      Thanks for your comment.
      This foolishness has really cheesed me off. My writing time is so valuable and to be wasting it on something so…bureaucratic is galling. Still, no ticket no job. Biting the bullet springs to mind. It could be worse, As you say, at least it’s in English and because I’m familiar with the subject it’s certainly easier and quicker to get through. The wine is helping too. 🙂
      Have a چمپا. (Can you guess what it is yet?)
      Best wishes.

      • Note the mistake? I meant to say IS IT BANANA? And this from an English teacher? I’ve just slapped my own wrist. My only excuse is that I’m only on my first mug of tea, and not taken the meds yet. I can’t look at a white-board or a stick of chalk without breaking out into a sweat. It’s called Post Traumatic Teaching Disorder – PTTD.

      • haha ‘It is banana?’ is very Turkish. I love that PTTD. Can I borrow it for R&M#5? It’s perfect for something. Maybe David Booker could also make use of it and before you know it you’ll find it in the Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations and Initialisms.

  2. I also get pis*** of with all the damned certificates required for certain jobs….Example…I did a course on book-keeping, now I am number dyslexic but I passed with flying colours…more luck than judgement. This would make me a suitable candidate to work as a book keeper but anyone more useless for this job I cannot think of! I have a degree in psychology (B.A) …not as good as yours (2:1), slogged through a courses in psychotherapy, hypnosis, NLP and worked as a psychotherapist for many years and also taught it. In France all this means NOTHING and I cannot practice! I also have the TEFL course at my back but here they insisted I take yet more exams before I could work…..I declined! The thing is all these certificates don’t make you better at your job, experience does, and I think good teachers are born and not made! BTW, I loathed Gone Girl!

    • Somnus,
      Thanks for chipping in.
      As Pat said, British qualifications are supposed do be among the best in the world. Must be annoying for you that your qualifications don’t count where you are, and where is the sense in it? Universal skills are just that aren’t they?
      The hoops we have to jump through to earn a crust. Don’t blame you for declining.
      Have to say I’m enjoying Gone Girl at about 150 pages in. It’s not that I like any of the characters but I do like her writing and turn of phrase. She’s made me laugh a few times, which is a bonus.
      Best wishes.

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