Wednesday, March 2, 2011
This week I started work at the Lycee as the Assistant D'Anglais! The Lycee is the school that students go to in their final years - ages 16-18. I have really been thrown in the deep end!! On my second day - the teacher (who had previously told me not to prepare anything)introduced me to the class and then said that she was going to split the class into 2 and half the students would go with me in the first block and other half would go with me in the second block!! So there I was, with nothing prepared, for 10 students for the 1st hour and then the other 10 students for the second hour!! Luckily I can think on my feet!!
The school system here is very different to Australia (well, to Victoria - which is all I can compare it to!). The students attend the school for 3 years -the 1st year is called 'Seconde' the second year is called 'Premiere' and the third years are called 'Terminale'...which is all quite confusing!! The students typically stay in the same group for their whole 3 years and have a career focus, e.g. catering, economics, electronics etc. The school is divided into 2 - with a technical school and a general school. Last week they also opened another school which focuses on Agriculture. School starts at 7am and goes until 5pm, with a break between 12-2 for lunch (and for me a nana nap!) Most teachers have a day off, and all of the students have Wednesday afternoons off.
So far I have found the students level of English to be quite poor - so I have a big job ahead of me!! They have found it difficult to ask me questions like 'how old are you, where did you live, what do you like to do' etc. But it is also very early on in the year and perhaps they just need a refresher!! I wont hold my breathe! It has been amusing to watch their faces when they find out how old I am and whether I have any children!! Here, in Wallis, the women have children very young (most in their early 20s) - so for them to see a 31year old married woman without children it really is a novelty!!
The teachers I work with all seem very nice - some nicer than others which is the way it is everywhere I suppose!! Some ask me to be in their class and take individual students out for short periods to provide intensive work, others give me half their class and dont really care what I do with them!! It will take some time for me to get used to it I think...but it's also good that I have a varied caseload and can try different things! I think it is harder for the students to get used to having a teacher who doesnt speak the same language as they do!!
I work as the English Assistant for 12hrs a week - unfortunately my timetable is rubbish! I work everyday!! I am also continuing to do the tutoring (3hrs a week so far, with some others expressing an interest for more) and I will work at the College (which is a school for children ages 11-16) 4 hrs per month. So I cant complain about being bored anymore!! I just really need my own car!!!