Today I went to school with Louis-Auguste. And not just to drop him off–I actually went to his school with him. Having an English girl live with one of your students is a novelty to an English teacher in France and I was more than happy to come and share, well I guess share myself (although that sounds a little riskaayyy) with the class. Didn’t seem too difficult: speak in English (making sure to pronounce my “t’s” as such and not as “d’s”), talk about myself (easy enough), and make Louis-Auguste feel cool for bringing the “American girl.”
So we get there and wait in the rain for the large gate to open. In front of most French schools I have seen (this one included) there are large gates. Behind them are huge courtyard areas where the students wait between classes. We waited here as well (did I mention it was raining and cold?)
During this long 15 minute wait I was reminded quickly of when a foreign exchange student came to our middle school in PA. We had surrounded her as if she were a lab animal and had asked her endless amounts of questions. They didnt smother me like that (I am not their peer) but instead they stood, stared, whispered and asked; “Louis-Auguste, is that her?” I was more like a lab rat being examined at a distance.
In class I talked about my family, my hobbies (I laughed a little when I was asked this because its SO not a phrase used in conversation but I also remember being taught to ask this in French class), Philadelphia’s history and things that are special to the city (tried to draw a soft pretzel on the board–epic fail), described Thanksgiving (harder than you think to explain in simple terms), explained the sport of Lacrosse (also a challenge) and explained the way school works in USA (elementary, then middle school, then high school and finally college). I even put a little plug in for JMU–if some frenchies apply in a few years you can thank me President Rose 🙂
Next week I am off to Célénie’s school to teach about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Any pointers?