First day of school…but not in the way you might think! For those who aren’t already aware, I applied for a teaching position many, many months ago for my year abroad and I got the job as an English Language Assistant at a high school in the suburbs of Paris. For the past week, I have been observing English classes and today I began to teach. I have my own classrooms, keys, pigeon-hole in the teacher’s lounge, cafeteria card, and have to make my very own lesson plans…apparently I am supposed to know what I’m doing! Ha. Ha. I almost forgot to mention, I heard my own “teacher voice” today, you know the one I’m talking about; it scared me a little.
So I teach 11 classes per week; four on Monday, one on Tuesday, and six on Friday. The way the system works is that a (real) English teacher can request an assistant (a not exactly real teacher) to work with their students. The classes are divided mostly in half and I take the group once a week to work on oral language and conversation skills. Today went really well…I wore my super professional Van Heusen dress that I bought during Grace’s Women’s Retreat last spring, perfect; kind of my equivalent to a power suit. The lesson I prepared went over well…I did do it three times in a row so that makes it easier. I tend to live in the teacher’s lounge or “la salle des professeurs” during the gaps in my schedule. I drink tea and eat fig newtons, not very French I guess, I need to work on that. But, I swear, it seems as though the teachers down at least 6 cups of coffee a day! This is the view:
Oh I almost forgot: my commute. Not very exciting right, well it does involve 3 metro lines, 1 bus and 5 stations….don’t forget the stairs, remember! And, of course, this:
That’s right 144 old stone steps all my own! Yes, this is the one and only stairway that leads up to my high school. When I do eventually reach the summit every morning, shedding layers and layers of clothing, as well as, 5 pounds of water weight in the form of sweat (I know, gross!) I get to greet my fellow colleagues and students after climbing 4 more flights of stairs once inside the building, face beet-red and out of breath. Jokes on me I guess. Thanks France! …PS that’s our new catchphrase! Feel free to apply it where needed during your stay, but you must only say it with a really stiff-slash-insane looking smile on your face. Don’t worry, it will come almost naturally.
My first University classes begin tomorrow, so wish me luck…at both ends of the classroom!
PS my apartment smells like a fart, not a healthy fart, like a rotten someone/someTHING has gotta be sick around here…I think I should stop… it’s only the cheese in the fridge and it’s “fresh” meaning it looked like this when my roommate’s French boyfriend bought it.
Now you know why I strictly live off of Nutella.