So today was my first day as an assistant d’anglais in 3 of the primary schools in Carcassonne. After spending all day yesterday in a bit of a hesitant tizzy I’m happy to announce that I love it.
My first school was really nice and whilst there was one “problem class” they weren’t ANYWHERE near as bad as classes I’ve seen en angleterre so I’m happy. The teacher is chatty and friendly and her method of teaching was great. She started off by simply introducing me to the class and then asked me towards the end of the class to tell the children about Halloween. With the second class, I had to host the “point to” game as well as telling the children about Halloween. By the time the third class came around she informed me I would be teaching them the ’10 Little Indian Boys’ song, hosting the “point to” game AND telling the children about Halloween. By the time I finished the third class my confidence was so high. After that I went to the classroom of “les plus petits” they were so tiny, I don’t ever remember being that small. They all beamed at me when I walked in and the teacher explained who I was. After being informed that they won’t really understand much of the English at all, but I will be singing songs, telling stories and reciting small poems to get their ears used to hearing the language, I sang ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes’ to them.
After my mad dash home for dinner and then back out to drop off yet more paperwork at the Inspection Academique I headed to my second school of the day. This school was a little bigger and a little more daunting than the previous, traditionally tiny, French primary school. I felt right at home straight away, I mainly observed from the back or side of the classroom when I was at this school. My first lesson I sat next to a young girl who wished me “bon courage” and wrote me little notes on the edge of her page to ask me how to say the number eleven, also the little girl in front of me handed me a pen when I failed to find mine in the bottom of my huge bag. Before the second class I spoke to a teacher whom I am assisting tomorrow and he was worried about what to teach the children because they are “les plus petits” and he has never taught them a language before, but I told him that at my other school it was all about the songs, so he set himself a task of finding simple songs to introduce them to the language. In the second class I observed the teacher seemed very strict from the doorway but once I got in she was very nice and looked at me a lot for advice on pronunciation of already perfectly pronounced words. In the 3rd class the teacher was lovely and the class was large and a tad lively but they seemed to really enjoy learning, which is great!
On returning back to my apartment, I put on my PJs and I sat down because my legs were about to give way. Teaching is a tiring job, but I can’t wait to get back it tomorrow!!!