Tuesday, October 12, 2010
What I've Been Up To
After lots of shifting and emailing etc, I finally have a schedule for my twelve hour a week teaching stint. I have met all of the English teachers I'll be working with (there are 7 of them, three at one school, four at the other) and I have sat in on and introduced myself to all of the classes. So far, French middle schoolers are much like American ones; rambunctious and curious. But at least I don't sense any really bad attitudes, and most seem pleased by my presence....though I sense it's partly because it disrupts their regularly scheduled programs. I work mostly with 13-15 yr olds, so the older end of the spectrum, but they are the ones that benefit the most at this point seeing as how they have exams before they head to high school. The teachers also have been kind enough to not use me as a baby sitter to the bad kids (as I've heard some other assistants have been used). I have no complaints. My schools are in easy walking distance, the teachers are genuinely friendly and helpful, and I think the students and I will get along just fine. So far I've stood in front of the classrooms and allowed them to fire questions at me - mostly the basics, but a few "what's your phone number". I have to chuckle. This coming week, I'll be taking a few groups aside at a time, getting them to talk, telling them more about me and the U.S. and increasing their comfort level with me. The goal is, if they are too intimidated to talk in class, hopefully they will open up and practice English with me. Otherwise, I've been hanging out with friends from the program, and working on meeting some more French people our own age.