re: “confronting deeper issues” in french education

I follow a few blogs of current teaching assistants in France.  Cara’s post from last week really got me thinking…

What would I be like teaching abroad??

I’ve ready many a blog entry about how assistants struggle with the teaching aspect of the position, because they have little or no prior teaching experience.  Now, I’m no seasoned veteran, not by a long shot, but I do have a few years of classroom teaching under my belt, and my classroom management skills are ON point.  Reading Cara’s post made me wonder how my skills would translate.  I’m sure that to some degree, kids are kids, and teaching techniques should work across the board.  But how much of what I do in the US (and/or how I do it) is contingent on the fact that I am teaching American children?

Cara writes about how strict and unyielding the French education system can be.  Some of those classroom practices did sound extreme, but on the real, I don’t completely disagree with all of them either.  I’m not saying I would humiliate students just because norms deemed it acceptable, but I would love the extra freedom as an instructor.  Maybe this has just been my experience, but here in the US, it seems that teachers are simply expected to baby students (and even their parents!), and make them “feel good”.  Newsflash: self-esteem doesn’t put food on the table and pay the bills.  Hard work is required, too.

Hmm.  I think between my nurturing American skill set, and the French demand for rigorous structure, I’d find a happy medium teaching in France.  God I hope I get the chance to try it out.


tapif application submitted

… with two minutes and 24 seconds to spare.

Well, technically, the website says the deadline has been extended through tomorrow because of difficulties with the website.  So make that: 24 hours, two minutes, and 24 seconds.

Application Inspector telling me I haven’t made any mistakes/missed any info.
Message saying my application was sent. Must be running on central time because it was definitely 11:57:36 pm in California. Guess it’s a good thing the deadline was extended…
Email confirmation. TAPIF application successfully submitted. Also, what would I do without screenshot capabilities?

And now… I wait.  For (at least) three months.  FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU

Actually, right now-now, I need to hit the sheets.  I need to be up for work in less than four hours (I’m procrastination royalty – didn’t you know?).  Post to come in the following days about my ABSOLUTE MORTIFICATION about this whole waiting process/why I’m not so confident about my chances of getting accepted.


choosing regions

TAPIF applications are due January 15th, and – surprise, surprise – I’ve been procrastinating.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t have that much left to do.  All my documents are scanned in, I just need to write my personal statement (in French) and have my instructor complete my language evaluation.  I got this.

But I need your help, friends!  As I may have mentioned before, I don’t get to choose the exact school or city I will be placed in.  However, I get to rank three different regions (roughly the size of counties), narrowing things down a little bit.  These are the académies I need to choose from:

region choices

I need to choose one académie from each group.  I think it’s like that so you don’t just pick all southern regions, or all big-city regions.  Let me tell you what I’m thinking as of now, and why:

  1. Nice – Duhhh.  You know about my love affair with this region of France!  
  2. Rouen – It’s in the north, so I’m anticipating much colder weather, but what’s appealing to me about this académie is it’s proximity to the UK and the Paris region.  That’d be good for traveling, right?
  3. Now three I’m having more difficulty with.  I’m torn between Lille and Montpellier.  I’ve heard so many good things about Lille, but Montpellier is in the south…

Your thoughts??  Do you know something about these (or other) areas that I should be aware of?  All input is greatly appreciated!!

my motivation, I lost it?

Dude, guys.  It’s been over a month since TAPIF applications came out and I haven’t made any more progress on it since that night.  I haven’t even been practicing my french!  >_<

Ok, before you all get on my case, let me give you my list of TOTALLY 100% VALID, NOT-AT-ALL LAME excuses.

  1. I’ve been heinously busy with work (picked up an extra class, lost a prep period in the process, giving me a new total of FOUR DIFFERENT courses to plan for on the daily – oh, the joy).
  2. My french tutor at the Alliance Française moved back to France, so I hadn’t gone to french class in over a month.  Not gonna lie, I was kinda upset.  The office and my tutor knew that I needed her to write my recommendation letter from the get-go, and if they knew she wasn’t going to be able to see me through January, why did they have me start with her??  The office kept calling and calling trying to set me up with a new tutor, but between my aversion to change and my stubborness, I put it off for weeks.
  3. … dang.  I swear it seemed like I had loads of good reasons before I started writing this.

Anyway.  I’m writing today because I think I’ve found my motivation again!!  I went to french class yesterday with my new tutor.  I thought I liked Alexia a lot, but I love Jocelyn!  Or maybe I just love being around French again.  …No, yea.  It is Jocelyn.  She’s super sweet; a motherly older lady.  We spoke the entire time in french (save for a few clarifying English phrases) and she said she was impressed with how much I knew!  Lying or not, that still made me very happy.  Also, I like the type of homework she gave me more than the kind I was getting before.  YOU GUYS, I’m excited again.  YAY!  ❤

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an application to work on.  😉