30 entries from srah blah blah tagged with 'teaching':


Hello. Is it me you're looking for?

One day back when I was a teaching assistant in France, one of my students called me over to him in class. The students were supposed to be working individually on some assignment, so I assumed he was trying to get my attention to ask me a question about English for the work he was doing. I walked over to him and he quietly asked me (in English, if I remember correctly), "Do you like Lionel Richie?" Of all the things he could have asked me, I think that may be the last one I would have guessed. Lionel Richie...

srah - Tuesday, 5 December 2006 - 8:52 PM
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Bise me not

A friend of my sister had to interview me for her French class. Ooo-ee, I am so important. So I figured I might as well post my answers here as well. 1. What is the primary difference you found when teaching in France? I've never taught in the US, so I can't be sure of any differences between the two systems. I think that the American system is more coddling, but the French system is less supportive of the students. 2. Where in France did you teach? I taught in a technical/professional high school in Cusset, a small town just...

srah - Wednesday, 29 October 2003 - 2:31 AM
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Votre dévouée élève, qui vous aime de tout son coeur

While reading The Professor (thanks for suggesting it, Katie), I was full of fantasies about updating it (à la Pride & Prejudice/Bridget Jones), writing a novel loosely based on it, or bringing it to the big screen. The book is about an Englishman who is unhappy in his work, so he goes off to Belgium and teaches English. I like it despite the protagonist's airs of grandeur, because there are parts that remind me of my experiences as a teaching assistant in France. No man likes to acknowledge that he has made a mistake in the choice of his profession,...

srah - Thursday, 24 July 2003 - 12:07 AM
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Last day of classes

I'm going to miss these little buggers. Even the ones who never wanted to work. Especially the ones who never wanted to work. There are so many silly things, but also so many lovely things written in my cahier de souvenirs. You make me laugh out loud, and I'm going to go cry now. I'll miss you....

srah - Monday, 14 April 2003 - 10:27 AM
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More end-of year observations

I feel so much happier these days, especially after reading the inscriptions in my cahier de souvenirs. Even if they're flat-out lying, it's nice to finally realize that I was appreciated, and I find that the last-period classes are very happy and fun and relaxed. I should have done this earlier!...

srah - Monday, 14 April 2003 - 6:15 AM
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Note to students discovering my site for the first time

Si j'accomplis une chose cette année, je voudrais que vous reteniez ces deux mots et que vous cessiez de dire le mot français avec une prononciation anglaise: interessant interesting et soucis worries. Interessant and soucis do not exist in English, and it is my mission in life to prevent you from using them. Have a good vacation and go sign my guestbook....

srah - Thursday, 10 April 2003 - 10:32 AM
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The final Thursday

When I first arrived at the school, I said that one of my hobbies was making websites, and I wrote the address on the board. Now, at the last session of each class, I write my email address and website address on the board so that my students can keep in touch, and give them a little song and dance about how this is the last time I'm going to see them and if they'd like to keep in contact with me, they can find me there. "C'est quoi, ça?" they ask. "Ben... c'est mon adresse de courrier électronique et...

srah - Thursday, 10 April 2003 - 10:31 AM
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Nearing the finish line

I just found out that both of my Thursday classes are cancelled next week. My Tuesday classes are having parties, so I finish working Monday at 4pm. It's all happening so suddenly. I want to take pictures of my students, but I'm not going to catch up with everyone. I want to tell everyone to look me up if they come to the States, but I forget when the end of the hour rolls around. I'm still learning people's names. I barely know these kids, and I would have liked to have had the chance to know them better. I...

srah - Thursday, 10 April 2003 - 6:52 AM
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Un seul élève

One student. ONE STUDENT! At the last class session before I leave! Cursèd bureaucracy. They could have told us in advance that the students would be doing oral exams today and would miss class. It is a lot harder to be an assistant if you never have any students to assist....

srah - Monday, 7 April 2003 - 4:25 PM
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What to do?

I have two weeks left teaching. That means I'm going to see some of my students for the last time this week. I ought to do something really special, but I don't know what. I have to take pictures and bake a lot of cookies or banana bread or pumpkin pie. I have to come up with a superfun game to play and remember to give everyone my email address, but I also still have to keep from giving the teachers the impression that I'm slacking off because it's the end of my time here (even if it's true). Ah,...

srah - Saturday, 5 April 2003 - 4:25 PM
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's only a flesh wound

I am very disappointed in myself for leaving work today. I left Véronique a note and took off because I was not getting any better and all I would do was stare blankly into space, trying not to fall over. I don't know if it's the Protestant Work Ethic or what, but I was disappointed in myself for not being able to work through it. This is the first time I've left work for health reasons - I even came in earlier in the year when I was shivery and nauseous and faint. I don't like to let anyone down,...

srah - Thursday, 3 April 2003 - 1:55 PM
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Raymond Ash: my teaching hero

I will be tough and firm on Monday. I will be well-prepared and have chiffres at my disposal, but I will not put up with any crap or abuse or French. I will be rested and ready, calm and in control. I will be Raymond Ash, minus the wetsuit and spear-gun. "Naw, Ger, seriously. I don't care how hard you 'hink you are, or how long you've been suspended. I'm warnin' you: do not, under any circumstances, ever ever fuck wi' the new English teacher." - A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away...

srah - Sunday, 23 March 2003 - 2:29 PM
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The continuation of a bad day

I have come close several times. I have wanted to. I have done so just upon leaving a class. But until today, I had never actually cried in front of my students. I really don't want to be here today. I don't want to talk about the war. I don't want to talk about the United States. I want you to ignore current events and be interested in Jamie Oliver. I want to curl up in bed and hide....

srah - Thursday, 20 March 2003 - 5:22 AM
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Lying on my back, the tears pour into my ears

What am I doing here? Why am I here, doing somethign I am no good at? Why am I wasting my time and theirs, when nothing I do does any good? I don't know if I want to be alone or if I want a hug. I want my mommy. I want my boyfriend. I don't want to be alone and miserable with no one who loves me and be surrounded by people who don't even respect me. Why? Why am I so ineffective? Why am I alone? What am I doing? Is it me? Why can't I do this?...

srah - Monday, 17 March 2003 - 11:39 AM
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Je péte les plombs

It looks like since two of my classes are en stage, the Internet is back and I have a photocopier code, the Vie Scolaire has taken it upon themselves to be the bane of my existence. Apparently Véro is out for the whole week. Which they really could have told me on Monday, when I visited them and they told me she was absent for the day. So I quickly prepared to teach the whole class alone (even though according to my contract I'm not supposed to have more than 15 students), went to class, and no one was there....

srah - Thursday, 13 March 2003 - 11:36 AM
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Classified information

Lost: One entire class of Hôtellerie students, aged about 17 to 21. Answer to the name of THOT. When I went to the Vie Scolaire at 2pm to ask if Véronique was there, they said she wasn't and asked if I could take the class at 3. I hemmed and hawed and said I would do my best, considering the lack of warning. Only I don't even have the spine to point that out, so I just sort of went, "Non... ben, oui, mais..." So I did my best, and I made a million photocopies, and I took my million...

srah - Monday, 10 March 2003 - 9:25 AM
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Sarah, with an English R

I was a bit concerned about taking The Fam to the restaurant gastronomique yesterday because it is exam period and the students would be graded on their service. I didn't want to make it more difficult or stressful for them, so I considered cancelling our reservation, but their service teacher, M. Merlino, wanted butts in seats, so we came. Our server was E. I don't know why I feel like I need to protect his anonymity when I never do with any of my other servers in the resto gastro, but voilà. He handed us the menu and I started...

srah - Friday, 21 February 2003 - 9:05 AM
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Communication problems

It snowed last night, so the roads were slippery. Usually when this happens, Veronique doesn't show up, so the first thing I did when I arrived at school was to go to the Vie Scolaire and ask if there were any profs d'anglais absent. They said yes, Veronique would be absent in the morning and maybe in the afternoon as well. I was pleased, as I'd been hurrying this morning to throw something together for the S1HOTs and now I could stop stressing. So I wandered around for a while, then Victor, head of the Vie Scolaire, found me and...

srah - Thursday, 30 January 2003 - 6:19 AM
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"Can I have a kitten?"

"But how am I supposed to teach English As A Foreign Language if I don't speak English as As A Foreign Language? Can't I just take Foreign As An English Language?" - Smack the Pony...

srah - Tuesday, 14 January 2003 - 5:43 PM
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"Oh no, that should be restricted. There are some wackos out there."

I spent yesterday bullying all of my classes about going to see Bowling for Columbine. "We have too much homework," said the S1OLs. "Is there a bowling alley in Vichy?" asked the S2OLs. "If we go, will you come with us?" and "Are you taking us to the movies?" and "Are you going to pay?" asked the THOTs. I, myself, had not yet resolved whether I wanted to see it again this week or whether, like Il faut sauver le soldat Ryan, it was too stressful to see ever again. I decided to ask Renata and Jennifer if they wanted...

srah - Tuesday, 10 December 2002 - 6:46 AM
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Into the lions' den

Veronique had grading to finish so she sent me off to the entire class of THOTs alone. All alone. I don't think I would have stood for it with any other class, but they were lovely and told me how to keep their classmates in order (!) and although their roleplaying erupted into the usual hilarity, I was very proud of them for being imaginative and creative and not always liking what the waiter brought them....

srah - Monday, 25 November 2002 - 10:16 AM
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The Joys of Teaching

Yes, I write all over the board. But if you were paying attention when I wrote the words, you would know which one was the answer to which question. And since I've already asked this question a million times in the past week, what the hell are you thankful for?...

srah - Monday, 25 November 2002 - 4:29 AM
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Calling people with eyes!

If you are in the Vichy area on a Thursday afternoon, the S2OLs would like you to be a cobaye, bay-bay, for their vision examinations. They are sick of practicing on each other. I have now invited everyone I know to come and have their eyes checked out, so I am going to start branching out to people I don't know. "Holding the door for you was really no problem, ma'am. But you know how you can repay me? Go and have a delicious meal at Valéry Larbaud, followed by an enjoyable eye exam."...

srah - Wednesday, 20 November 2002 - 10:00 AM
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Extremely confusing explanation of class levels

Terminale BEPThe last year of the BEP, a two-year specialized technical degree which allows students to enter the workforce without continuing their studies until the BAC.Last year, they were in Seconde BEP (and before Seconde, they were in middle school).Next year, they can go to work or continue with the Première Adaptation BAC Pro.Première Adaptation BAC ProA class of "adaptation" students who have the BEP and who then decided to continue their studies in order to get the Professional BAC. This is separate from the more general students who have come directly from middle school and have not done the...

srah - Tuesday, 19 November 2002 - 5:59 AM
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srah's schedule

MONDAYTUESDAY WEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAY09-10TV2Terminale BEP VentesPlanning PeriodTH2Terminale BEP Hôtellerie10-111ASMS groupe 1Première Adaptation Sciences Medico-SocialesS1HOT1ère année BTS Hôtellerie11-12S1OL1ère année BTS Optique1ASMS groupe 2Première Adaptation Sciences Medico-SocialesTH1Terminale BEP Hôtellerie12-1313-1414-15S2OL2ième année BTS Optique1AHOT groupe 1Première Adaptation Hôtellerie15-16THOTTerminale BAC Hôtellerie1AHOT groupe 2Première Adaptation Hôtellerie Well, that was a terrific waste of an hour and a half. How sad that I have nothing better to do....

srah - Tuesday, 19 November 2002 - 5:49 AM
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Ahem

I would just like to point out that ça fait une semaine aujourd'hui qu'on est sans Internet. Ahem. Some of us need the Internet to do our job and are quickly running out of materials. Ahem. This is not exactly a third world country here; it seems to me we should be able to get back online faster than this....

srah - Tuesday, 19 November 2002 - 2:52 AM
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The Pilgrims? Aren't they like monks?

Today I did a lesson on Thanksgiving. It was not all I wanted it to be because the stinking Internet still isn't back, but it was okay. I used it on two classes. One was bored out of their minds and the other, one of my favorites if I'm allowed to say that, spent most of the time erupting into hysterical laughter that had nothing whatsoever to do with Thanksgiving. But at least they weren't dead. Anyway, I've been sidetracked. The point I wanted to make is that I told my students the story of Thanksgiving, then I told them...

srah - Monday, 18 November 2002 - 2:25 PM
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Yup, that's about it

Googlism for Vichy, France: vichy, france is bad enough vichy, france is that it The other day, one of the conversation-starting questions I used on my class was "Would you like to live in Paris one day? Why or why not?" That worked so well, I had them list the advantages and disadvantages of Vichy as well. They talked about the parks and the opera and the nightclubs and how it was calmer than Paris and less polluted. The only disadvantage they could come up with for Vichy was that there were so many old people. Nice to know it's...

srah - Friday, 8 November 2002 - 11:52 AM
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(Cultural?) Misunderstandings

I think I have convinced an entire class of future hotel/restaurant managers that one of my grandmothers was a spy when the Americans fought the Soviets in WWII, and the other was born in the Netherlands and founded the War Brides Association. Oops....

srah - Tuesday, 15 October 2002 - 3:01 AM
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CKane is thinking

CKane is thinking about teaching English in Korea next year. Wowie wow wow....

srah - Tuesday, 15 January 2002 - 3:20 PM
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