So yesterday I started at the school finally! I had 3 hours of observation yesterday then 4 hours today. I’m gonna bullet point my experience/observations here so it doens’t all merge into one long ramble!
- French schools, or at least mine but I think it can be largely generalised, are seriously behind the times technology wise. Most classrooms haven’t even moved on to whiteboards let alone interactive whiteboards. The registers are still done with bits of paper, even in my school which is huge. (As far as I’m aware, alot of english schools now have a computerised network system for this). This whole thing is worrying me a bit now in terms of being able to use video/dvd/internet tools, games, sites/ cds/ powerpoints.. all of which I got really used to during my teacher training, and which I know would make lessons so much more exciting. I don’t even know if they have tvs with videos available?!
- Even though C had told me that most of the pupils were pretty bad at english, I thought she’d probably be exaggerating, considering how good europeans are at languages right? I was very wrong. Some classes are actually very good ability wise. But some are awful. One girl didn’t get the word ‘april’ after I repeated it 3 times. She just didn’t know the word. The fact is the levels vary hugely. Which is gonna make my job all the more hard having to adapt lessons to suit both age and ability, even within one class.
- There are a lot more girls in my school than boys, at least in my classes anyway. I haven’t yet come across any overly cocky lads, which was one thing I was dreading. There does seem to be a certain amount of respect for teachers in that way that you just don’t get at most english state schools. This also means I’ll have quite a few all girl classes when I take them myself.. which may prove alot more fun in being able to stick to girlie topics, and putting my british cosmpolitan and marie claire magazines to use!
- I was introduced to two cool looking people about my age in the staff room, who I think are like student advisors or something.. they live in the library all day. In fact the librarian is really camp and funny and speaks english, and the library itself is really new and nice with lots of computers so I might just end up spending all my free periods there, either chatting to the two advisor people, or the librarian or just planning lessons.
- When I came home yesterday I walked through Pere Lachaise Cemetary and took a few pictures this time I think I may well try and walk through there most days on my way home because it is so insanely quiet and peaceful. It’s completely walled in so it shuts out so much of the city noise, and as a cemetary rather than a park, there are never very many people there.
6. Completely unrelated to school.. I managed to block myself from my flickr account the other day, and after their customer services being no help whatsoever, I’ve just opened a new account.. hopefully it should work okay but yeh, right now I hate Flickr.
This afternoon I FINALLY got my bank card 😀 and subsequently went to get my french mobile. Which means that actually now, I pretty much have nothing left to do by way of settling in. I’m still waiting for my phone line in the apartment, but all I can do for that is wait. So it’s actually rather nice to have this weekend where I have nothing I have to do, and can finally start doing the things I want to do whilst in Paris.
Au Revoir! xx