Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Faith Is Restored.

Well, yesterday was a bit of a bad one, student-wise! I had the a class of carrieres boys in the morning; I decided to do something a bit more fun with them, so I had them create characters, write a few lines of a story, and swap papers to continue each others' stories. WELL, it seemed to be going okay, with the exception of two boys who kept giggling and being generally disruptive, until we got to the swapping. There was an indignant cry from the two best pupils in the class, "This is in French!" I took the page, hardly daring to believe it, and they were right. The two boys that had been misbehaving before had written their lines in French, when I had specifically given them the start of their first sentence in English to avoid this very situation! Argh.

So, I got my Teacher hat on and told them (in deadly calm French) that they were in English class, not French class, and if they wanted to muck about they could go elsewhere to do it. They had the decency to look sheepish, and started writing tout de suite!

Irritating situation dealt with, I prepared myself for my two-in-a-row secondes in the afternoons. I had the, erm, less gifted, ones first, and they were okay; typically distracted but eventually they got there. And then came the ones that are supposed to be the best secondes in the school. The class consists of two girls and nine boys (poor girls!), and they've been progressively worse each time I've seen them. Well, this time took the biscuit. The girls were perfectly well-behaved, doing the work I outlined on the board and volunteering answers. But the boys continually shrieked with laughter, walloped each other with various articles, spat at each other and generally took the piss, completely ignoring me when I told them, first in English and then in French, to stop it and do the work.

Finally, I managed to get them to shut up, and I gave them the severest lecture I've ever had to give in my life (!). I was literally shaking with anger, and it was made worse when one boy started to snigger. So I took him up on it, and demanded that he answer one of the questions written on the board (knowing full well that he hadn't done any of them). He sat there for five minutes with the rest of the class staring silently at him, until he said he hadn't done any of them. By that stage I was beyond talking to them, so I gave them a worksheet and ignored them for the rest of the hour. Afterwards, I went straight to their regular teacher and told her, and she agreed that they've been getting more and more unmanageable, and that I wouldn't have them again. I figured that was the end of it, and was happy to have escaped!

Then, today, she came to me in the staff room and said she wanted a list of the trouble-makers... oOo, they'll be in trouble! I have the impression she can be quite a scary teacher when she wants to be. Haha, is all I can say!

Today has gone much better, and restored my faith in French teenagers! I had three Terminale L's this morning, and they wrote the most amazing poems about getting older. One boy had the lines, "I'm scared to be paralysed by all the things I have not realised." Deep, huh? And with the carrieres girls, I showed them My Fair Lady. I think they thought it was a bit crap at first, but enjoyed it in the end, and are looking forward to watching more next week.

I have three more classes today; hopefully they'll go okay as well!!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Time is Flying.

Well, the title of this post says it all, really. I can't believe it's only two weeks til I'm going home again for the half-term vacances; that means I'm three quarters of the way through the assistantship. How scary is that? I've been planning and freaking out about these seven months for the best part of three years - ever since I applied to do languages on the old UCAS form in sixth year - and it's more than halfway over!

Somehow I feel like I've done loads, and absolutely nothing, at the same time. My French is coming on leaps and bounds. My students are improving (slowly), and love coming to my classes. I've eaten weird and wonderful things, acquired a taste for red wine, traveled on the Paris metro, had a conversation about the colour of chickens with a three year old boy in French, learned to cook... the list goes on. All while (seemingly) sitting on my arse for entire weekends. It is bizarre.

And yet more planning is taking place, namely my trip to Andalucia over the summer. I have a roomie (for a change!) all arranged, we've decided to go in June, where it'll be nice and quiet, just the right amount of heat, and I'm feeling fairly opimistic that Spain should be at least as good as my time here has been. It'll be nice to have a pal - French twenty-somethings are non-existent out in the sticks, it seems - and we'll be able to travel a bit and help each other out with the language (as I'm convinced all the Spanish I used to know has fallen out of my head).

And I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone at home again. I've been feeling a bit out of the loop lately, just because I've been away from home more than there for the last 5 months, so I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone again - visiting the family, shopping with the girls, seeing the animals, maybe having a bit of craic with my friends, which, due to our busy lives, only happened once over Christmas!

I've been pretty terrible at writing this blog of late, so hopefully I'll have another update soon!