First Week as an Assistant

Lycee Ernest Hemingway

Lycée Ernest Hemingway

I have survived- and enjoyed!- my first week as an assistant. The teachers all seem very glad to have me and most of the students seem excited as well. I work with students of all different ages, some of whom are older than I am! I must say I especially enjoy working with the older students. The students in BTS, which are specialized programs after completing high school, have a lot of experiences to share. For example, those studying banking have had internships and some of those studying fashion (pattern making) are currently working on designing, creating, and modeling black dresses. Pattern making and banking are two subjects I really don’t know much about, so it’s great that I get to learn a bit too. I get Fridays off, which is pretty nice if I want to do some traveling in the region. What exactly am I doing as an assistant? Good question. I’m not really sure yet. Basically, my main purpose is to get students to speak. In English. In most classes, I’ll be with small groups of students and we’ll have specific subjects to talk about, although one of the teachers I work with gave me permission to talk about anything I wanted to with the students or do any activities. Anything that I felt would engage and motivate them to speak English. Which could be a lot of fun. Hopefully next week I’ll have a room in the cafeteria so I can start the English club. However, this is France. NOTHING happens quickly here. You wait 10 days to get your ATM card. Three days to get your sim card and then two more days for it to activate (unless you’re me and go to the store and get them to activate it the same day). So while one would think there would be a way to check which rooms are free so I could get the room in the cafeteria and a room to bring the students to in small groups, there is either no easy way to do this or administration moves slower than molasses. I really and truly will never understand this aspect of France. How is it that a country with such a rich culture which thinks itself so civilized cannot get its act together on the bureaucratic stuff?? Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the end of my love affair with France, I still like this country just as I also love my own country with all its problems. Like the government. How does a government even shutdown? Really America, please get your act together and get over your fear of socialism and stop these Republican vs. Democrat extremes. Anyhow. I hate how long it takes to do things which are so simple in the states, like opening a bank account and getting internet and a working phone.

Highlight of the week- Seeing a man carrying a cat on a leash on his shoulder. Casual. Sighted on the rue de la République. Sorry I did not get a picture. I regret that.


About Quiche Lauren

A blog by an English teaching assistant in Nîmes (Académie de Montpellier) through the TAPIF program.
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