Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Day in My Life in France

My school, taken October 20, 2010.

(Note: I started this post in early February.)

So many of you back home have been wondering what my days are like and how I like teaching. While I could share my emploi du temps, work schedule, it would probably make for a rather dry post. Because of the general strikes in October, some students barricaded my school so I didn't get to teach much my first month here. As a result, when I got back from my Toussaint holidays in Belgium, I still felt really new to it and that I couldn't really make an assessment. Now, beginning my fifth ending my seventh month of teaching, I feel I've gotten into my stride.  And that this post will never be written otherwise.

School in France is organized differently than in Canada. In Canada, high school students typically have all their classes between about 8:30am and 3:00pm Monday to Friday. Here, school hours are 8:00am until 6:00pm although students do not have ten continuous hours of class. Instead, class schedules here are organized more like university schedules; a student might have a class from 9:00am until 10:00am and another class from 5:00pm until 6:00pm. Another bizarre thing about schedules here is that some classes only convene every other week. As a result, I only see some of my classes twice a month.

All my colleagues are super nice and friendly. It made settling into a both a foreign country and new town where I knew nobody much easier. Having just graduated from university last May, it feels a bit strange going to school and being on the "other side," the teacher's side. Although I've feared being mistaken for a student (my lycée is also an école préparatoire, prep school, for the grandes écoles so the prépas students are between 18 and 21 years old), it has yet to happen--to my knowledge at least it shockingly happened twice in the same day with the same woman shortly after writing this.

As for teaching, I like it well enough, or, I don't dislike it.  At least, that was my line during most of the seven months of my contract.  Now that I have a week left, I'm feeling a bit sad that it's ending.  I like teaching, I think I'd be good at it, but I feel that teaching (public) high school is a vocation and I don't feel the calling.  I do think I'd enjoy teaching older students, or teaching in another capacity as part of my career.

No comments: