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  • Luke

For Students: School & Education

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

They say your school years are the best years of your life. I'm sure you don't have to think about it too much to remember some good times. Playing in the playground, messing about IN class with your mates, passing notes around the class to your 'crush' or just being a goodie-goodie and following all the rules and being praised by your teacher. You're probably reading this at work, after work, or on your way back from work..... nursery/playschool – reception – infants – primary – secondary school - 6th form – University – work. All gone in a blink of an eye. Welcome to the real world. Your route to work might have happened a little quicker as you might have finished secondary school and then got an apprenticeship where you spent a day-a-week at college and the other 4 working and getting paid, albeit an apprentice's wage.

Education is no doubt important, but should further education be free? I personally think it should be, further education shouldn't be just for those who can afford it. Most students take out student loans to cover the costs of their studies in England where you have to pay for university, and as of today, the average debt a student graduates university with, is a whopping £50,000.

Other opinions about education that people have mixed feelings about are subjects that are a waste of time, separating gifted students, and school uniforms. Should students be allowed to wear what they want? This could lead to bullying due to a student who isn't seen in the coolest of clothes and your daughter going to school in revealing outfits...

Let's go back to the classroom, did you have a favourite teacher? Mine was a guy called Mr Joslin, he was a drama teacher, but also my tutorial teacher. He was a passionate man, who encouraged a lot of freedom and creativity. He often moved the desks to the side of the room, and created a more open space for learning. Unfortunately, he was struck down with meningitis which meant he had to leave his role as a teacher. After that, drama lessons were like a revolving door for substitute teachers.

What kind of student were you? I personally wasn't the most gifted nor well-behaved student and at times I'm sure my teacher's would say I was a pain-in-the-ass. I'm sure you were different. Were you a bright-spark and went to a grammar school and wore a blazer and tie or did you go to a normal school where you could wear what you wanted? Did you dread parents' evening because you weren't well-behaved in class? Maybe, you didn't go to either of the above, but were sent to a boarding school and spent most of your education on-site living and studying at school. These types of schools aren't public, and all fees have to be paid for by the parents.

We all had different characters IN our classes. Take a look at the below list and choose the one that most matched you, and the others that were IN your lessons.

The straight A student – a student who had no problems with anything thrown at them. They didn't need to try very hard.

The boffin – a student (usually in glasses) who knew all the answers about everything and used to get high on information.

The teacher's pet – a student who was favoured by the teacher. The favour was mutual.

The goodie-goodie – a student you didn't do anything wrong. Always did homework and would grass on any students doing something they shouldn't be doing.

The bad-boy – a student usually from a poor family, always in trouble, being sent to the headmaster, and even

The sick-note – a student who was constantly off ill. They spent more time at home than at school

The dumbass – a student who was completely useless at all things academic, but great when it came to woodwork or climbing something.

The ladies man – a student constantly surrounded by girls. They much preferred to spend their break-time with the ladies than the boys

The pain-in-the-ass – a student who stopped the process of learning for others when most of the class actually wanted to learn

The smoker – a student who already looked like an old man. Always spent the break with a group of similar guys hiding in the trees having a puff. They were always late, smelling of smoke, and were prone to skiving/mitching

The class clown – a student who cared more about making the class laugh than learning

Common mistakes

Usually when Ukrainian and Russian speakers talk about school and education, they usually make certain mistakes -often due to translation. Take a look at the below sentences and think if you know what needs to be changed in order to correct the sentence.

I'm in my 4th course of university

Answer: Course – when we talk about university, we talk about it in years, so you would be in your 4th year of university

I finally finished university and now I have my diploma

Answer: Diploma – when talking about the qualification you gain from university, it is degree

What did you do on the lesson today? We talked about crime

Answer: On – the preposition for lessons, and class is always IN

I can't come out because I have to write my diploma

Answer: Write my diploma – this can be rephrased as to work on my thesis/dissertation

When I was in 5 class I didn't like history. Now I do

Answer: 5 class – in the UK we say year 5. The start of secondary school is year 7, but this can also be said as 'first year of <school>

I am in a course of photography. It's very interesting

Answer: ON – you are always ON a course

Every Friday in class we had to pass an test

Answer: It's OK, but only if the meaning, means, you had to be successful. We can take/do/sit/have a test/exam but only if we are successful we pass and if not, we fail.

Cheers - native speaker and CELTA qualified English teacher in Lviv, Ukraine

Skype English lessons and Zoom classes with a native speaker from England

Playground – the area when students would play between lessons

Mess about – to not pay attention to what is happening and ignoring the teacher

Mates – friends

Crush – someone who you like when you are younger. It's not serious

6th form – the year(s) of school before you go to university. You have to pass exams at the end of the year to enter uni

Gone in a blink-of-an-eye – an idiom that means something passed very quickly

Gifted student – a talented student

Apprenticeship – where you learn a trade or profession by learning on-the-job and going to college once a week

College – a smaller institute that offers different courses, but not as intensive or in as much detail as university

Apprentice – a person on an apprenticeship

Further education – education after you finish school

Student loans – money students take to help with to pay their course fees and living

Debt - money you owe something SAID AS DET

Mixed feelings – when you don't feel very strongly about something because you are unsure

Waste of time – not worth doing or saying

Bullying – treating other people badly because of something.

Revealing outfits – clothes that show a lot of 'skin'

Tutorial teacher – the teacher who takes your registration and who you meet with everyday

Desks – tables, not boards....

Like a revolving door – when there are lots of people coming and going and not returning

Substitute teacher – a teacher who is there to replace another teacher for a few lessons or longer

Bright-spark – someone who is clever

Grammar School – gymnasium

Blazer – a suit-style jacket

Dread - a feeling that you really don't want something to happen

Parents' evening – an evening when parents go to the school to speak to their children's' teachers

Well-behaved – doing what you are told

Boarding school – a school where you go to live and study at one location

Fees – the money you have to pay for schooling

Grass - telling someone that someone is doing something that shouldn't be

Headmaster/Headmistress - the 'boss' of the school

Break-time - the breaks between lessons. The longer break was 'lunch-time'

Skiving/Mitching – not going to school when you should be there

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