Jumping over the lazy dog

or, taking the bull by the horns.

Roissy-en-Brie and gay Par-ee


Mairie de Roissy-en-Brie

Mairie de Roissy-en-Brie

After a long drought of communication (read, since April), my inbox is now filled with emails from the French Embassy and their compatriots on the other side of the pond.  This is a good thing.

I now know that I will be teaching 15-18 year-olds at the Lycée Charles le Chauve in Roissy-en-Brie, a town 30 minutes from Gare du Nord in Paris, from October 1st until April 30th.

I, of course, as an information-searching nut, went online and scoured the internet for any dirt I could gather on Roissy-en-Brie and the lycée, as soon as I received the email.  And here’s what I learnt learned:  Roissy-en-Brie is a lot like Fontainebleau, minus the château. So it’s pretty, and close to Paris, and has outdoorsy things to do like hunt in the woods by following dirt trails and trees marked with street names, and quaint downtown streets with cafés that charge an arm for 3 boules de glace.

The lycée‘s website gave a bit of insight into the titular Charles, but was not as forthcoming with information about the English program.  It seems, however, that they have a fantastic music program, and it might be nice to get back into some piano playing – perhaps I can learn some contemporary American pop pieces to share with the class.

Speaking of the class, I’m slightly terrified of teaching 15-18 year olds. I mean, I’m turning 22 in October, so that makes me what…4 years older than the oldest and 7 years older than the youngest of the bunch? How much did I respect the young-ish teachers when I was in high school? Well, I do recall wondering if they knew what they were doing (*cough* and harboring crushes on the younger male teachers *cough*)…do *I* know what I’m doing?

I’ve tutored kids before, and TA’d 2 university-level courses, even come up with lectures for both and led discussions…I suppose it shouldn’t be too difficult to translate that for a high-school audience, since the students I was working with at uni were 18-20-year-olds. I read (in my pursuit of all things France-and-teaching-related) that it helps to set your foot down at the beginning of class: only English in the classroom, no disrespect, strict grader, etc., etc. Which makes sense – once a push-over, always a push-over.  And that shouldn’t be too difficult for me anyway, as I tend to expect a lot of other people, mostly because I expect a lot of myself.  I think deep down I want to be that tough professor that everyone hates and loves at the same time.  Some of my best professors have really made me work for their approval (hmm, there might be some psychology to this worth exploring), and didn’t Colton say that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery?

Anyway, it seems the easy part is over: I got the gig.  Now I just have to get my visa, book my flight, figure out health insurance, get travelers insurance, find a second job, get a French bank account, fill out more paperwork, get a French cellphone and find some place to stay.  Oh, and breathe.

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Filed under: All things French, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses

  1. Hey, I found your blog! No thanks to you (well, your Twitter, but you’ve already made like five posts).

    In my experience, high schoolers tended to be nicer to the younger teachers and have a better time in class. For the most part, that complemented the teacher’s talents (if they had any) and boosted interest in the topic. Now, I don’t know about French culture, but hopefully they share a certain appeal toward people closer to their age.

    After all, you’ll know what they really need to learn. Like how to pick up a girlfriend/boyfriend, how to tell your foster parents that you’re “just going to a friend’s house,” and how to explain to an officer that you didn’t know she was a prostitute.

    Blogroll’d.

  2. *exchange family…not foster parents. My bad.

  3. amritaraja says:

    I suppose I could also ask them for that very information in French in exchange :)

  4. Jay Osborne says:

    “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”? Great quote! Not quite as dramatic as Emerson’s “imitation is suicide!” quote.

    I’m glad I found your blog (or maybe I found it long ago, if it looked a bit different).

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