My son and I are leaving our small town in southeastern United States to live for a year in a small town in southeastern France. It couldn't possibly be THAT different, right?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

No longer a lady of leisure

    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).


  1. We have to wait outside the room now, too. :P

  2. What a good idea! I think that I will do the same when I return! :)

  3. LOL Margaret - I know what you mean about the colors and rulers, and heaven forbid you make an error on the board - they all freak out because they made a mistake on their notes!! They also tattle often at my school "Madame, he took my ruler!" Um, ok... "Give her back her ruler." Really?!? But I am actually used to that from teaching back home...It's also really hard for me to get ideas for my electives. On the first day I asked them what ideas they had; what they hoped to study or learn in my class. You mean, we have a choice?!? It was a pretty awkward hour...

  4. We're waiting outside the door now, all questions must be prefaced with "Mademoiselle", and you MUST speak French to ask to go to the bathroom, the nurse, or your locker. She's whipping us into shape.
    Were Emilee and I as needy of middle schoolers in French 1 as you say the French middle schoolers are?