This is me.

This is me mad.

It doesn’t happen a lot, so what happened today really took me by surprise.

The next picture shows me (ok, my shoe!) waiting in a big room full of very nervous teenagers who were about to take their Cambridge English Speaking Exam.

I was there with my son. He’s bilingual. No problem.

Right when I arrived it started.
‘What level is he here for?’

What level?
I’ve never thought about him in levels.

‘I have no idea!’

‘Um…but you’re this famous English coach – you don’t know what level your son is at?’

Nope.
And I never will.

Because you can’t put a number on communication.

I looked around and observed the energy of the room.

So many kids were deeply nervous.

And you know what?

Many were probably fluent in English.

Some might be bilingual.

My son is native level.

But guess what?

When you feel observed, judged, or evaluated, something shifts in your mind.

Some people stutter.

Some black out.

Some feel very small – like a failure.

To me, a test is a snapshot of that moment.

Nothing else.

I left standard education because I refuse to put a number on people. Especially children. I was so busy filling in forms and testing to test that it took precious time and energy away from teaching real communication and life skills. So I walked away and started something new.

I know I’m in a luxury position as I now only play by my own rules and have complete freedom to do so. And I know many teachers feel the same way but are ‘forced’ or ‘trapped’ in the system.

I get it.

But I will always refuse to put a number on communication.

I give all the kids today a 10.
I give them a 3/7.
I give them a 123,456,789.
I give them 8.346.
I give them 2435987209487235.

Now they’ve got their numbers.
Have they met the requirements now?

What do you think?
Curious!

Love,
Buffi

(Who is much happier now because when I got home I rage-baked a cake and it was delicious!

 

Read more!