Mardi Gras! I don't think they do "pancake day" here although being so close to "chandeleur" there seemed to be a bit of confusion (with teachers and children when I spoke about it today and of course when I mentioned them I had to hear all about what every child likes on his crepes. They also mentioned beignets and merveilles de carnaval (like dougnuts) to be eaten today, oh and one of the CE1 classes turned up all in fancy dress for the carnival I guess...darth vader, faries etc! Cute!
This really bizarre and totally bad thing happened today and I can't really understand it...I've hard on SO many occassions from different people how competitive it is to get into teaching over here and yet they seem to have a MAJOR lack of supply teachers. It has become the norm over winter to have 5 or 6 children from another class sat at the back of the room because their own teacher is off ill and there is no "remplacement", so today I get 6 seven year olds rock up halfway through a lesson. It turns out some other teacher in a DIFFERENT school had ended up with 50 children to look after and, supposedly, teach by herself, so the "inspectrice" shows up at my school halfway through these childrens lesson, disrupts this class and sends the teacher off to the other school and the pupils are split between all our classes. It's so nuts, like I don't think this would ever happen at home...Perigueux isn't *that* small a place; they darn well need more supply teachers!
But I am pleased because I got my copy of the class photo today...not a good photo of me (DOUBLECHIN!) but the kids look cute and its a wicked souvenir. Teaching has gone better this week; have made an extra effort to be very well prepared and to go in with a smile as I did at the beginning and has worked out pretty well. Also started "Hello, Goodbye" (Beatles) which they're going to do in choir for their concert on the 24th June. All my classes now start with "How are you?" (song for CE1/CE2 and in the middle of teaching CM1/CM2 a range of different responses rather than "I'm very well thank you), Quick fire questions (Whats your name/nationality etc etc etc), "Whats the date?", and "Whats the weather today?" (with song for CE1/CE2)
Ooo and latest exciting travel update: about to get booked up for Arcachon at the end of April. Will have 7 nights there in a caravan with Cathy, Eddie, Hari, Catherine and whoever else rocks up. Should be cooooool! I will just be happy to be beside the seaside (fingers crossed for good weather) and really hoping to get to La Rochelle and Biarritz from there.