Friday, 1 April 2011

A taste of a different kind of teaching.

Don't get me wrong, I love the little children, I enjoy playing with them and looking after them. I enjoy doing the English classes at the school, and singing songs with them all. But one thing I've learned since I've been in France is that I really don't want to be a primary school teacher. Young children are sweet, they're such amazing learners and they say some things that can really amaze you. But I really don't feel like caring for, or teaching young children is where my heart is long-term. And that's a good realisation.

So it was amazing yesterday to have the opportunity to experience life in a Lycee (kind of sixth-form college.) One of the mums at the children's school works at a Lycee in the Vosges (about 45minutes away), teaching English. Sophie has always been really friendly to me and often offered to take me to her school with her to find out what she does. So yesterday I took her up on her offer.
Number one, it was really just great to have a solid conversation in French for the car drive over there. It made me feel so much more confident in holding a conversation as I realised that my French has improved quite a lot! And again, it was awesome to get out of Nancy and see some open road and countryside, albeit it was bucketing it down!
The school was so nice. All of Sophie's colleagues were so friendly and welcoming and I really loved the more laid-back feel of a college set-up (as opposed to a primary school.)
I helped Sophie out with the three classes she had that day. As it is a college that specialises in agriculture and environmental studies, there were a lot of boys. The first class of two hours was completely made up of guys between the ages of 15 and 17. They were all super-sweet and very enthusiastic. They all introduced themselves to me in English, then I did the same back! Then I helped them with their reading comprehension and read the text to them. I think they found my accent a bit of a novelty!
At lunchtime, we ate with some of the other staff members and conversation was good! Then the subject got around to food. Some guy randomly had a rabbit in a basket that he said he was going to cook for lunch. I had no idea whether he was joking or not - he was French after all... after that, they started talking about eating snails, and a lot of people said they liked snail pie!! uuuugh!

Anyway, after lunch I helped out with two more classes, doing similar things. These students were a bit older and there were some girls. I really enjoyed the conversations that came up, and I thought Sophie had a really great rapport with her students even though they were all very lively.
It really made me think more about teaching that age group... maybe even teaching English in France. I just feel like you can really focus a lot more on the students as intellectuals, as opposed to the discipline and care and very basic learning that has to happen in a primary school. This is a lot more interesting to me.
I can't believe I have never had any experience in a secondary school before, as it's certainly something I'm now considering. Time to do some research!
I will definitely be going back to Sophie's school. 

It was such a great day :)

Another plus is that after being very ill on Wednesday night, I am feeling much much better!
The weekend is nearly here again, where did the week go?


No comments:

Post a Comment