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Posts Tagged ‘training day’

It’s been a while.

I had another meltdown. Yes, another, they’re unpredictable, unforeseen and unbelievably horrible. Feeling rubbish is one thing, but feeling rubbish in an unfamiliar surrounding is worse. Okay it could be argued that Carcassonne is no longer unfamiliar, I no longer need my maps to get around, I know the cool places to go and I am now, I’m sure you’re all pleased to know, fully aware of how the roads work. So why the meltdown? The answer is, I’ve no freaking clue.  Overwhelmed? Daunted? Stressed? Or just simply tired? Maybe all of the above. I find it hard to talk to people and tell them my true feelings, always have. However, in the early hours of the other morning, I managed to muster up the courage to send my mum a text telling her I was sad and unsure why. She rang me first thing the next day to help and together we figured out what was potentially bothering me. There’s a lot to do here, I’m not just an assistant who has only assistantly duties to attend to. I have university work and erasmus grant forms to try to do – on top of lesson plans and trying to keep my own little room clean, tidy and organised. My mum calmed me, organised me and sent me on my way – of course still feeling rubbish, it doesn’t just go away like that.

So now I’m still organised, feeling a tad happier and determined. Today was a journée d’entraînment (training day) so I had no school. Instead me, the other 4 Carcassonne primary assistants and the primary assistants from Narbonne sifted through teaching resources at the Inspection Academique and searched the web for useful lesson plans. Whilst I feel the day was useful I am still very much daunted by the teaching, maybe it will get better and give me more confidence? Or maybe it will remain the bane of my life for the next 6 and a half months? I guess we’ll see.

Ce soir we went to the cinema encore. This time the film (36 vues de pic Saint-Loup), whilst having a more bizarre storyline, was easier to understand. Okay the gist of the story was lost in some places but the French was much easier to understand and I felt a greater sense of achievement.

I also feel that, whilst I’m not necessarily showing it through the medium of my oral capacity, I’m getting better at French. I can form sentences perfectly in my head, it’s just the pressure of needing to answer quickly and also fear of being judged that makes my words come out not as they are in my head. Before the words come out of my mouth I can see them in my head, I can see the correct verb endings, the correct tenses, the correct words and idioms… but as soon as my mouth is open in even the slightest pressurised environment, it comes out a great big jumble of wrong. I think I need to work on that.

One last thing before I go and essayer de dormir; someone has been smoking in my little corridor thing. I noticed the smoke smell in other places in this building but never anywhere near my room.. now all I can smell in my room is smoke. If I can still smell it tomorrow I’m telling the landlady. I know I sound like a tattle but I’m finding it hard enough to live in France already without having second hand smoke pumped through my lungs unwillingly.

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So I woke up at some stupid time this morning and got myself ready for my training day. Made sure I was all prepared with my documentation and headed out at 7:30. It was still dark which felt odd. Got to the Inspection Academique and was waiting for the other 3 assistants and my responsable, who was driving us there, to arrive. When we were all finally bundled into the car I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach, everyone seemed to be speaking so much better French than I even knew! Then after a quick scramble around in my bag for my glasses I realised that I’d picked up the wrong folder of documentation. Right then I so badly wanted to cry and get a flight back to England, but then I remembered that I’m here to make these mistakes and learn. I coped the rest of the journey and when we got to Narbonne I felt relatively calm.

Sat in the room with the 3 other Carcassonne assistants and the 5 Narbonne assistants I felt a bit better as I slowly found out more about them. They were all older than me, they all had been learning French longer than me, some of them had even done the teaching assistant thing before years ago. I felt calm… that is until the paperwork section of the day started. I did not need to be worried at all, most people hadn’t brought one thing or another and my responsable was cool with it and just suggested dropping the things we lacked (my R.I.B.s, attestation de logement and arrete de nomination) by her office on monday. Fab! Sorted!

After the panic of the day was over we settled down to what I can only describe as a feast. When we were told dinner was provided I was not expecting what we got. Baguettes, croque monsieur, many salad items, meats and WINE. Yes we had wine at dinnertime on the premises of a primary school! After our huge lunch we split into groups to observe a class similar to the ones we’ll be assisting in soon. We got a little involved in the lesson, singing ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ to them with actions! The children were so full of energy… it’s a good thing because it shows they are interested but it is so tiring!

The car journey on the way home was weary but very cultured; we had me, an English girl, an Australian girl, a Chilean girl and our responsable the French woman! Obviously speaking in French was necessary because it was the common language but being immersed in it all day brought out my confidence in speaking a bit more than earlier in the morning. As soon as I arrived back home I sorted the documents that I needed into a plastic wallet and then sunk onto my bed, where I still remain. I think weeks of doing nothing and then a sudden rush of energetic children is going to bring my energy levels to a standstill but it’ll all be worth it when I get the rush of satisfaction at the end of it all!

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