Thursday, October 9, 2014

Teaching English in France: Week 1

I went to both of my elementary schools this week. They're in a small town that takes me about 25-30 minutes to get to on the bus (I bought a monthly bus pass!). I wondered what kind of town I would be placed in, and I'm very happy with the one that I got. If you're imagining an idyllic small town in France, this is probably what you're thinking of.

Valence (where I live) isn't too large, but it is nice to have a more restful place to go to several times a week. Right now the weather is still warm and sunny. Hopefully, I enjoy it just as much when it starts to get cooler.

I had some free time after teaching to wander around the town. (While waiting for the bus to arrive. It only comes about once every hour.) The age of the cities in Europe always amazes me. I love how the old parts of the cities are right next to the newer parts.

Back to my experience at the schools.

The schools remind me of a lower and upper elementary. They are right next to each other, and I think that they share some facilities like the gym. I think that most classes have about an hour of English each week. I'll only be in each class for about 30 minutes though. The schools are small, and the atmosphere is much more calm that what I've recently experienced in the US.

I'm so excited about getting to spend time with these teachers and students.

Being the English assistant seems as if it might be the most fun position at the school. It's probably the closest that I'll ever come to being famous. All of the children know who I am, and they all want to talk to me. Everyone wants to be the kid that the teacher chooses to help me find my next classroom after the English lesson is finished.

A few of my favorite parts so far
  • Kids constantly say hello to me when they walk by. 
  • One class sang a song in English to welcome me to their classroom.
  • Some of the younger classes think that I don't understand French at all. It's adorable.
I am impressed by the amount of English some of the classes know. I still have to remember to speak slowly though, use lots of gestures, and keep my words simple. Things get confusing easily. Some of the student are probably under the impression that I live in the Mississippi River since they didn't all get the concept of states. Oh, well.

I already love what I'm doing. Once I get used to figuring out how everything works (And, where all my classrooms are. Even though the schools are small, I can get lost anywhere.) I think that I am going to have a lot of fun.

Oh, and I've finished my first full jar of Nutella. I still haven't had an eclair yet though. That needs to happen soon.

Until next week,


  1. Glad things are going well for you! It sounds like you are going to have a wonderful time in an amazing place!!