Faint praise. Yes, Gentle Readers, the Tuesday Child Minder has excelled himself. I am overwhelmed by the encouragement and support he gave me at the end of last week, telling me that my chair would look good in a dark room. Hmmm. Some issues there, I think. I've taught people. You know that, Gentle Readers. I've done plenty of 1:1 coaching of people who have no business trying to learn how to use a computer, right up to standing in front of 200 fairly hostile people telling them about software which was going to make them all redundant. There are ways, and there are ways. This, I hasten to add, was not one of the ways.
I wonder what qualifications you need to be a TAFE* teacher? I know when I looked into doing it in the IT world, you needed a qualification at least one level above that which you were going to be teaching. For me, that meant I had to go & get either a degree, or some form of magic post-TAFE Diploma graduate qualification, which is what I did. The reality that I then couldn't get a job in IT was not a reflection on me, but more an economic wake-up - they pay these guys $54 an hour (if they're lucky), but they're casuals. They don't get any of the security of a proper job, and I didn't love teaching enough to give up my six-figure salary for $54 an hour, for maybe 6 hours a week... would you?
Anyway, having done Cert IV in Workplace Training & Education in 2004 as part of my quest to be a better teacher, I know that you don't tell your students that their chair looks like crap, and that they should have taken notes, and that nobody is going to employ you anyway because you're not a real upholstery student, not like the apprentices [and no, before you all throw up your hands in horror, he didn't actually say that, but it was implicit. Well, it was inferred by me, so I'm blaming him. That's how it works, isn't it?] You encourage them gently by helping them when it's obvious they're stuck, even if they are supposed to be doing it themselves. It doesn't get done if they can't remember what they're supposed to be doing (and let me tell you, Gentle Readers, in the grip of peri-menopause as I am, I can't remember anything. Except the two landlocked countries in South America, which for some reason, never leaves me). Bolivia and Paraguay. I know. You needed to know that.
So, here's the progress, and don't be too horrified to find out that this took me 8 hours to do. Miss Natalie & I left at 4.00, being thoroughly sick of standing around waiting whilst the Child Minder communicated to the builder about his renos**, the other male teacher about the footy***, and the apprentices about the very thorny issues involved in making a slip cover. Cranky? You bet:
A note of thanks is due to the lovely Kate, of The Chairy Godmother, who reminded Miss Natalie and I that the Child Minder's tenure as our teacher is finite, and that happier days await. Also, to the lovely Blue Lambb, who pointed out that a Vitamin B shot might help - I was thinking of a Vitamin R shot myself, as in 'Red Wine'!
In other news of the happier kind, the house is looking slightly less bomb-damaged, with clean washing only in one place, the industrial sewing machine having de-camped to the workroom and the food fairy having been [yesterday, amongst other chores post-upholstery school].
And finally, I took myself out of the office today at 3.55pm, if only to visit the Doctor. It was lovely to be home by 5.30pm, which I celebrated by getting the bin in, doing some recycling and meeting Butch, the new Dog Next Door. The unbridled joy of scritching a warm soft puppy under the chin took away any remnants of tension. I want me a dog!
*TAFE - Technical And Further Education - Technical skills such as building, carpentry, upholstery, mechanics etc.
**Renos - Renovations.
***Footy - Football - Rugby League, a game played in very few places on the planet, but still considerably more than American Football, which is played, I believe, only in America.