The party is officially over! I now have to work for the privilege of being in France. I taught five of my six classes today, and all but one of those were pleasant. The last period really tried my patience, but I'm sure that I will either win them over early next week or crush them. Either way, I win! :)
Despite the few clowns in that class, I have found the French students to be excessively polite. They wait in line outside my door until I invite them in, and they then wait beside their desks until I tell them that they may be seated. Whenever an adult enters the room, they all stand until they are told to be seated. They are accustomed to raising their hand to speak in class, and they Madame me to death.
I have never taught middle school so I have a lot of things to get used to that have nothing to do with the French culture. For example, I had no idea how needy younger kids are. They ask SO many questions. They want to know when to write, where to write, how much space to leave, what color to use----everything. Then they want to show me what they have written to see if I approve. It's exhausting! I certainly have new respect for ALL middle school teachers everywhere!
I am teaching two classes of cinquième (the equivalent of 7th grade), three classes of quatrième (8th grade), and one class of troisième (9th grade).