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It’s True isn’t it?

December 5, 2012
"gcse english"

Thoughts From The Corner

There is a time for all things.

The chrysanthemum in autumn and the peach blossom in spring.

Wen Zhuang, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

It’s true isn’t it? In life, things just seem to fall into place – as my grandfather used to say, ‘When one door closes another opens’.

In my post of 5th May this year I looked at Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’. He ends the poem with:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

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No matter how many of the lesser travelled paths we take and the differences that makes to us,  life seems to come out right in the end. Although, of course, often we do not know what would have happened if we had made a different decision at the time and travelled the other path.

Teaching GCSE English in the classroom I have had many adult students say, ‘I should have done this years ago’ or ‘I wish I hadn’t wasted my time at school’. Yet somehow I couldn’t help but feel that ‘now’ is their time. As Wen Zhang says, ‘There is a time for all things’.

Adults returning to education have a desire to achieve. They have worked, brought up children, achieved and experienced many things. A return to the classroom is simply another step along the path that we call ‘Life’. At this stage of their lives they are ready for the rigours and dedication that passing exams require.

Some found it a huge challenge because their grasp of English grammar is not what it should be, with only one year until they sit the exam. Some of those were disappointed because I recommended a one-year ‘catch up’ course before embarking on the GCSE course itself. Their time would come. They just required a firmer base before climbing the stairs to the upper podium academic success.

There is something in most of us that makes us want to ‘run before we can walk’. I am not sure why this is. It’s a kind of competitive desire to tick things off our ‘Done List’. The problem is that the list is never-ending. No sooner do we cross off two items than we have to add three more to it! I am sure you can relate to that.

Those that sat the exam passed it – all of them, year after year. Those that completed the ‘Catch up’ course and took the GCSE english examination one year later, also passed when their time came.

Why was the pass rate 100%? As Wen Zhuang said, ‘There is a time for all things’.

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