I’m definitely digging this teacher schedule! In France, we actually get out for summer a few weeks later than the U.S., but with all the vacation time I am given, I’m not complaining.
Most schools in France just got out on Friday, the school I work at is private and we had our last day of school on June 30th 🙂 Since then, I’ve completed a Montessori workshop and JP and I have moved into our new apartment.
It’s no surprise, I was definitely overwhelmed when I first made the transition from English Assistant to English Teacher at the beginning of May. And now, I can’t believe it, but I’m free for the summer and am on vacation until the beginning of September!
As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like I’ve grown a lot within the past couple of months.
When I first started my job, I honestly did not think I would be able to make it.
I’ve never really thought of myself as a perfectionist, if anything, I feel like I’m a wannabe perfectionist–though that statement in and of itself is very telling of my perfectionist tendencies…
I came into the school year at an awkward time and I wasn’t really prepared for classroom management. I’ve had teaching jobs before, but I’ve never been a full-time teacher like this and I really didn’t feel qualified at first.
I’ve gone back and forth between wanting to be a teacher but when I went to UC Davis, I studied International Relations and French, not education. And with TAPIF, I was working with much older students (around 17-18) and at very strict and traditional high school, so I wasn’t sure how to handle classroom behavior issues. Also as someone who is pretty gentle, I’m really not comfortable with yelling at kids or being mean! (Not that I think you have to do any of these things to have good classroom management). But, I am such a sensitive person and when I had a classroom behavior issue and snapped at a student, it would seriously break my heart to see them sad or feeling bad over what had happened.
The beginning was definitely rough and I was so overwhelmed at first I would come home sobbing to JP, not sure how I was going to stick this job out.
A few weeks later, I found myself getting the hang of things. Of course, there were still some days that were hard and I would come home feeling a little bit defeated, but I now realize that no job will go perfectly and there are going to be hard days no matter where you’re working. Especially when it comes to classroom management, I know it will take me some time to figure it out. But I also realized that I need to be myself when I’m teaching and working. I’m really not a confrontational person, so when there are certain issues at work or with coworkers or students, I can’t let it get to me. Like I said, it will take me some time to figure out exactly what works for me, but being myself definitely made a huge improvement and made my days so much easier.
Now, I am so excited to have this summer to get inspired for the upcoming school year and plan out my lessons and curriculum.
The age group I was working with over these past couple of months was pretty wide (6-15) but this upcoming school year I will be working with one class of 5-6-year-olds and another class 8-10-year-olds and I am so excited! When considering teaching, I really only ever thought of working at the high school level, but working with a younger group has been so rewarding. I love hearing how these kids think and listening to how pure and sweet their thoughts are sort of just melts me. I’m especially excited to be teaching my 5-6-year-old group because I’m going to teach them how to read! (I’m on the hunt for affordable and stimulating English books for this age range, so if any of you know how to find them in France, let me know! So far, I’ve only found books through Amazon.fr but it’s so expensive.)
I’ve also just completed my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certification and, like I mentioned earlier, a Montessori workshop. I gained a lot of inspiration from both of these and I’m looking forward to implementing what I’ve learned in my classroom.
Of course, I still have a lot more growing to do, but I feel much calmer about my job and I really just feel happy.
I feel really lucky to be living the life that I am living.
I am in a beautiful city with the love of my life and I have a really great job. On the bad days, I just needed to take a moment to remind myself of all that I do have instead of focusing on what I was missing or what might have gone wrong that day.