My lead co teacher is applying for an English teacher program held in the States. She is super nervous about it. She also has virtually no Internet experience and it’s an online application. She is preparing and handwriting the answers to the questions and prompts at home and I am typing them up for her during the school day. That way, when all is done, we can just cut and paste into the online forms.
The other day, she shows me two of the parts she has completed. I read over them and find very few errors. If anything, they were simply words that didn’t read correctly and needed to be switched out. Towards the end, I noticed she used the phrase, English language and stuff.” I told her to just omit that phrase as its not needed. She protested and said that it was. We then got into a short argument about the word. She said that’s what they call her group. I suggested the idea of using colleagues. She refused, then tried to use the trump card of, “Well, it’s a British word and they said its okay to use British used words.” (They do that when we are at odds about teaching the kids various things; i.e., rubber vs. eraser, trousers vs. pants, have got vs. simply ‘have’.) But I responded this time that Americans will be reading her application and they will think she is trying to be informal and use teenage slang.
We both backed off for a while, but came back around to the dispute. She asked me again what it meant. I thought for a second and said, a random assortment of items together. For example, ‘I have stuff in my bag’. or ‘Your stuff is in your pocket book’. She paused for a second and took a second look at me. Then as a light bulb went off in her her she says, “Ahh, I understand! Stuff… things…!” Then she says that maybe its not the word she thought. And she wrote on the paper S…T…A…F…F.
Yes!! That sentence makes perfect sense now!
And we laughed and laughed! She even told the story to the rest of the loosely assembled teachers in the room.