...went so much better than the first!
16.10.2007 17 °C
I already had a good feeling about today as the headteacher and his assistant had been so kind and helpful when I was last there, but I didn't sleep well (bloody Good Morning song going to haunt more forever) and so was a bit tired and blergh this morning.
When I got to the school I was told the headteacher wasn't in this week and there's a bit of confusion over which classes I'm meant to be taking but today I did CE1, CM1+CM2 mixed class and a CM2 class. The CE1 teacher gave me a little tour of the school and her class were so cute! Seemed really young, and were quite timid, but I think they'll get into it, and I'd rather have to work a bit to get responses from them than have them running riot.
I have been using a lot of French in this weeks classes, perhaps too much, and intend from the next lesson to use English as we were taught on the stage. But I'm slightly worried that the older classes won't accept this now that they know I CAN speak French and I think it's going to be very tricky with the younger ones. Even using French today I just COULD NOT get them to respond "I'm very well thank you" when I asked "How are you?", they just repeated "How are you?" back to me. Eventually the teacher just asked me to translate it, which helped a bit...but I'm presumably not meant to be doing that if just speaking English...I used pictures, gestures, facial expressions, not sure what else to do.
The next class was an absolute dream, there were a few knowitalls, but the whole class was very eager to learn and attentive and seemed to remember a lot from last year. At the end the teacher asked me a bit more about myself in front of the class like whether I'd been to France before and whether I had any French friends. She was really nice, and even gave me her number and email in case I have any problems and said I can join her and her family for a 'french dinner' at some point. One of the students in this class also made me a card which she brought me at the end of the; it said "My name ys Victoria. I'm 10. LUCY JE T'ADORE! I'm French. I'm very well. " So cute. Going to go on my wall as inspiration when I get fedup of lessonplanning. The lovely teacher then took me to the staffroom, where she introduced me to all the other teachers, made me a cup of coffee (&told me not to worry about the washingup!) and tried to involve me in their conversations etc which was so great. She was joking about how I will learn lots of 'argot' slang from her as she's from Paris. She also invited me to join them all for lunch at the end of term next week. I wish I had a better means to tell people who are kind to me (her, my landlord etc) how much it means.....merci beaucoup does not suffice really, hope they can see it in my smile! There was also a lady there who teaches English to her own class and who lived in Yeovil for a year; she was the first person in the whole time I've been in France to greet me with 'hello'....was quite weird, I was kinda taken aback!
The next class, CM2 (so the oldest I'll be teaching) were not quite so nice. Well actually there was a mix, a few eager boys who just had their hands up the whole lesson (I ignored them a lot today to try and get other people involved, but actually they're not bad kids and I don't want to loose their enthusiasm), but also some very annoying chatty/fidgety boys, and some whispery girls who just did not look like they wanted to be there. I really want to try and work on this class; this the age where we need to try and keep their attention. Amazingly the time when they paid most attention was at the end where I asked some of them who knew a goodbye song to those who didn't know it, so I'll have to remember that. Also all of the classes seem very interested in talking about cultural differences etc, so I'm going to ask my mum to bring over a load of Christmas stuff.
Very interestingly one of the teachers explained to me that in France the city centre schools, like this one, are full of rich children who's parents are architechts, doctors etc, and it did kind of seem that way today. I think it would be the opposite at home?
So, now I'm having lunch and waiting for Patrick the electrician to turn up...he's going to fix me a bathroom cabinet...I think. Tomorrow is a day off (as every Wednesday) and Joe is coming so if I'm all organised I think I'll head into Bordeaux in the morning and explore a bit before meeting him. Am going to cook meatballs for dinner (as taught by Rachel!) and have bought a nice bottle of Bordeaux red :-)