Tuesday, October 6, 2009

first thing's first

Before you ask, there's still no internet at the bomb shelter, but hopefully soon! Now before I tell you about my weekend, I’ll fill you in on my "first (official) day" at the school…

Since my schedule is still not set in stone, Thursday was just sort of a show-up-at-8AM-and-we’ll-see-what-happens kind of deal. Only two teachers had arranged for me to visit their classes ahead of time. But as I was sitting in the staff room thinking how I should have slept in instead, one of the English teachers ran in and asked if I would mind introducing myself to her class. It was a class of technical students (the high school is for both general and technical education) who upon hearing I was there already, begged her to bring me in. I didn’t know what to expect because I had been warned that if they were too hard to handle (they are much older, some are even my age), I could opt not to teach the class. But they were great! They were… shall we say excited… to see how young I am. I was almost immediately asked if I had a boyfriend, did I have facebook, and could I give them my number. Did I mention it’s a class of 12 guys and 1 girl? Mhmm, my thoughts exactly! Their English was weak, but they got the point across. So sometime soon they’ll all be taking me out in Lyon for dinner, drinks, dancing, and… karaoke. Oh dear. They were a riot and I’m really looking forward to working them!

The next class was English lit for Términale. These are seniors and I’ll essentially be preparing them for an oral test they have to take for their Baccalauréat (this is an exam high school seniors take… but I’m not familiar enough with it to explain it properly). I had corrected some of their papers that week and thought they were quite good. I told them this and said not to be shy about speaking English- it’s already good! But they were quiet and barely had any questions for me. It was a complete 180 from the rambunctious technical students who were asking me all about things like Spring Break… ahaha. But the teacher wanted me to take up a lot of class time, so I brought out a bag with slips of paper that had questions written out in English. One would pull out a question and ask someone else to answer. But when it came time for one particular student to answer a question, she started crying. I. Was. Mortified.

At the end of the day I went and saw some younger students. I guess they thought I was an exchange student because they all thought I must have been 16. But they were absolutely thrilled with the prospect of an American in their high school for the year. It was 34 students, but I’ll be rotating them every week because I’m legally only allowed to take 8 students at a time. They were all really eager to ask me questions and to answer the questions I had brought with me, which was a huge relief! Some even expressed interest in the English Club I’m apparently going to have to run. Hmm…

The rest of the day was spent planning an escape route. Since I don’t really have any work to do, it seemed like as good a time as any to take advantage of my built-in 4-day weekends! And so it was that I went to…


  1. Sally!!! Sounds amazing :) Of course you should tell them all your good stories about Ft. Myers and SB09...
    You are gonna be a great teacher! And English club sounds super fun... I wish I could be in it!
    I am loving the posts and have you blog saved in my favorites so keep it up :)

  2. The technical class sounds like fun. Ahem . . . that's about all I have to say about that. ;)

  3. "I’m really looking forward to working them"

    It's wonderful that I'm entirely unsure as to whether this was what you meant to say, or if it's a mistake.

  4. I cannot wait to hear more about these students!!

  5. sounds like you're having no problem picking up french guys, way to go!

  6. Andrew- I really AM looking forward to working w/ the technical students! The cry babies... not so much! haha