Last trimester

La rentrée has been a little difficult for me. My schedule changed so now I work all day long Thursday & Friday, but only afternoons on Tuesday and every other Wednesday morning. My school is currently doing the bac blanc which means some of my classes are cancelled because the students are doing the practice exams. The problem is that no one tells me this before I arrive. For example, Friday I was supposed to have class at 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. However, the first two classes were cancelled. This wouldn’t have been such a problem if I didn’t live an hour away from the school, but it’s not like I could have gone home and come back later… I just sat around the teacher’s lounge and attempted to find more speaking activities on the internet for my BTS students, but I was so tired and annoyed that I didn’t accomplish much.

It’s a little frustrating being just an assistant and not the real teacher. I would prefer to have the same students all year so that I can see how much they progress. And it’s especially hard when you don’t know what the students have already learned or what activities they have already done in class. I need more control and stability or I don’t feel like I can be much help to the students.

A class that I just started working with this week is absolutely adorable though. It’s a seconde level class of eight international students from Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Bolivia, Kosovo and Albania. These kids are so motivated! Their level of English is lower than other seconde classes, but their pronunciation is already really good. They constantly participate in class and genuinely want to learn English. It’s so refreshing to finally see that. And funny that my best students in France are not at all French.

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  • Le Tigre

    Wow you really do have some major gaps between classes. I find it so rude when schools don’t bother to send off an email, a text message or make a 2 minute phone call to let us know when things change. I guess bring some books to try to fill in the time. All the same though, it’s a waste of your time and totally unfair. Only a few more weeks to go, hang in there if possible!

  • Le Tigre

    Wow you really do have some major gaps between classes. I find it so rude when schools don’t bother to send off an email, a text message or make a 2 minute phone call to let us know when things change. I guess bring some books to try to fill in the time. All the same though, it’s a waste of your time and totally unfair. Only a few more weeks to go, hang in there if possible!

  • Nikki

    I had to LOL at your comment about how your best students in France are not French. It’s not quite the same but I have a couple of girls from Madagascar in different classes/levels who are hands down among my best/most motivated students. Interesting phenomenon, no doubt.

  • Nikki

    I had to LOL at your comment about how your best students in France are not French. It’s not quite the same but I have a couple of girls from Madagascar in different classes/levels who are hands down among my best/most motivated students. Interesting phenomenon, no doubt.

  • The Duchess

    It is frustrating when you arrive to find your classes cancelled! I was a TA for 2 years, one of them being 2003 when all the students were protesting Le Pen and there seemed to be a strick almost every day. That coupled with the stikes against extending the retirement age, and the bac blanc, meant I spent loads of time in the teacher’s lounge drinking tea. My French improved alot though!Hang in there; almost over!

  • The Duchess

    It is frustrating when you arrive to find your classes cancelled! I was a TA for 2 years, one of them being 2003 when all the students were protesting Le Pen and there seemed to be a strick almost every day. That coupled with the stikes against extending the retirement age, and the bac blanc, meant I spent loads of time in the teacher’s lounge drinking tea. My French improved alot though!
    Hang in there; almost over!

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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