On Wednesday of this week I FINALLY found out whereabouts in Paris I will be teaching. (Bear in mind some people in other regions found out 2 months ago!) But never mind, I know now! I will be teaching at a lycée in le 18ème arrondissement of Paris which is around le Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre. (For those of you who don’t know Paris.. think Moulin Rouge and all the bohemian world.. though that was in 1900..).
I managed to find the school’s website so I know a bit about it now. Lycées in france are like the second half of english high school, with pupils aged normally from 15-18. At this point you decide on different routes to take and it seems that my school mainly provides for people taking the ‘ES’ route which I think is économique-social and the ‘S’ route which is scientifique. It looks like they don’t do the ‘L’ route (litéraire) which is a little disappointing as that would be more in my interests I guess. Nevertheless, in general I would still be teaching the same thing either way so it shouldn’t make much difference in terms of my experience.
I kinda want to know what kind of school it is in terms of ethos and reputation, mainly to get a better idea of what the kids will be like. I think at this moment in time that’s what is worrying me the most, that they might be a nightmare to teach! But I’m going to try so hard to make them LOVE english :p
In terms of preparation, I’ve had to do a fair amount since receiving my ‘arrete de nomination’ (the document which told me what school I’d be at). Mainly this has consisted of forms confirming that I will be accepting the post.. I think I counted about 6 in total! I also painfully attempted to write to ‘le proviseur’ (the head teacher) of my school. I say painful because although my ability to communicate in French is definately there, I am also very aware that my accuracy and grammar is currently pitiful :(.
My other worry at the moment is accommodation. I don’t know yet whether the school will provide it and if they don’t I really need to go over asap to find somewhere. One problem is going to be that if I leave it till Septemeber I have been told that alot of places will go because of students returning to study. However, going over in August means a lot of people will be on holiday 🙁 argh! Oh well, we’ll see what happens. I’m relaxing more and more by the day about it, it will sort itself out eventually!
Now that all the paper work is largely out of the way, I have more lovely free time to play around with teaching ideas. I recently got some new video editing software which I’ve been itching to try out and finally found a good excuse. I read an idea (I can’t remember where, sorry!! I will quote when it comes back to me) about making voice or video recordings of your family and friends talking about basic things, or perhaps a little more detailed about their interests etc. This should be helpful in terms of authentic speakers, but also mixes things up by hearing different English voices apart from my own. So that’s the next lot of preparation, making videos! And trying to get together and create more lesson activities. Another thing I have discovered is a collection of old english activity books that my mom had in a box. Most of them are unused (we obviously weren’t the most studious of children..) and aimed at upper primary school/ year 7 age range. I’m hopping they will prove to be really good activity sheets for photocopying, or just as games for the board. Definitely something I’d recommend to hunt out at home or perhaps even buy.
Now I’m off to find some more lesson ideas!