Hello readers! I have been keeping a “secret” from most of you…at least a secret from the online world. Last month I heard of an organization in France called Les Petits Bilingues, an English school for children of all ages. It’s independent from the normal school system, although it does correspond with the school year and vacation times, and they also provide small group and one-on-one tutoring. The great thing (for me) about this place is that they only hire native English speakers. The awesome thing about this place is that they recently opened a center 5 minutes from our apartment! When I found this out I contacted them right away asking if there were any job openings, and within an hour or two I had revamped and sent over my resumé/CV and got an interview scheduled for that week!
Ok, let me just state that I had never considered teaching as a career option, not even in English or English Lit (my major). Teaching children, especially teenagers, is scary. And I, being a doubter, always ask myself these questions, “What if they ask a question that I don’t know the answer to?” “What if I can’t connect with them?” “What if…” What if, what if, what if. When I applied for this job, all those what if’s starting attacking me, but even though I had no experience in teaching English, I still stayed confident. I relied so much on summer daycare working experience I made in high school (seriously…never imagined having to put “Organized and oversaw snack time” on my resumé), and was incredibly relieved when the directrice asked me to come in a couple of days to shadow the different classes.
And I loved it! The first day I was with a group of about eight 4-6 year olds (my favorite!) and after the class ended I was in such high spirits and filled with the excitement of doing that everyday. The next day I was with a small group of 8-9 year olds, and there wasn’t much for me to do other than observe, but still, it was a good day. And after that, I talked with the directrice again, she drew up a contract for me (yay for French paperwork!), and just like that I got the job!
But because it is currently vacation time, I had a whole month off before starting and my official first day of teaching my own class is THIS coming Monday!!! Ready for the details?
- I work Monday-Saturday, 10am-12pm
- …with a group of TEN 4 & 6 year olds!
- It’s still a vacation week, so I’ll be teaching the same curriculum as the other class I shadowed last month
- And after this week my hours will change again: I’ll do some more training before the offical “rentrée” (Back to School time!) at the end of September.
Sounds pretty great, right?? I am slightly nervous, especially after having a semi-nightmare last night that I showed up to work with NOTHING prepared and got scolded by my boss… BUT, God is good, and He blessed me with this job, so I know He’ll continue to help me with it :)
Oh, and my boss also asked if I could do a one-on-one tutoring session with a 15 year old boy (YIKES!) Monday-Friday afternoon this week as well. But I think that’ll go just fine…she told me to focus on things he likes (like sports), and basically just talk about a specific country (like America), and bring some videos, magazines, card games, etc. Not too bad! I’ll have to follow up on this after next week!
6 thoughts on “I am employed!”
That’s great about the new job, congratulations! I think that is one of the scary parts about moving abroad – not knowing how to really “manipulate” the job market. You know the ins and outs of your home country’s job market but suddenly you are thrown into something brand new. I wish you the best of luck with your new job :)
Thanks! And yes, it’s very different over here. Plus, I majored in English Literature in the States and I was originally interested in working in publishing, but that’s kind of difficult where I am right now. So thankfully I’ve found something else I can do!
This is so exciting!! I may be biased, being a teacher and all, but I think you will LOVE it. It’s so funny that you’re scared about the 15-year-old but jazzed about the 4-6 year-olds, because I am the total opposite. At my new job, I’ll be working with kindergarten for a portion of the school day and I am terrified! Can’t wait to hear more about your lesson plans and your kids!
Haha! I know, that’s what most people say…but I really love that young age. They’re more dependent and adorable and you get to really act like a child with them. I can see why a lot of people would prefer teaching older children, though. And I’m sure you’ll do great! I can’t wait to hear about your class too :)
Hi Maggie! I read your post with interest. I have an interview with Les Petits Bilingues soon and I don’t know what to expect. I’d appreciate if you could tell me what kind of questions they asked you? How many interviews did you have? I’m a bit nervous … Thanks!
Hey Therese! Just curious, which city do you live in? I worked for two of the Grenoble centers.
The directrice in Grenoble asked me about my prior experience with children, the teaching methods I used, and when and how I would discipline. She also stressed to me that their program was meant to help children learn English in a fun and active way, since they’re more focused on book work in school. So we played games, learned songs, and did simple arts & crafts during the sessions. I only had one interview and then I was given a week-long vacation class to lead on my own. Those classes are a little different than the year-long ones, and it was challenging, but I definitely learned a lot and was more prepared for my year-long class.
Don’t be nervous! Just be relaxed. I think they look for teachers who are a little laid back and flexible, but confident as well. Some times you have to completely switch up your teaching method during the class because you might have kids who lose focus easily or get frustrated when things are too routine.
If you want to ask me more questions or want more advice, feel free to email me: maggie.jackson07(at)gmail(dot)com