A Little Bit of This…A Little Bit of That

Ahh, nothing could have made my weekend start off better than a wonderful morning at work…which is exactly what I had today! I mentioned in my last post, but during September I am only working Saturday mornings and then I have some training during the week. So this morning I had my second “Very Early Learners” class and it was all about opposites. We had two extra boys today for a total of 5 children (all between 18-36 months), so it was a little hectic, what with 5 active and excited children, but overall it felt great, and I was even sad when the class ended (that’s a first for my new job!!)!

This past week has been really encouraging for me overall. Besides getting used to my new job, I have also been noticing an improvement in my French. I think the main reason for that is because my confidence has grown. I haven’t been afraid to speak with others, even if I am unsure of the vocabulary or grammar…I’ve just been trying anyways! This is a huge thing for me as a perfectionist, because I typically don’t try to speak if I don’t already know how to say things correctly. And this morning, as I was speaking with one of the parents, she assumed I was English instead of American, because Americans have really strong accents but mine isn’t so strong apparently! Seriously, any compliment I receive about my accent is the best compliment I could ever desire, and I never forget them, either. Last month at Connect, one of my German friends was trying to help me pronounce bunten Abend (“talent show”–my German-speaking readers will have to tell me if I spelled that wrong!), and she said I pronounced it like a French person! You can only imagine how ecstatic that made me! And now that I feel more confident about my French, I am making Matt speak to me only in French today (he really prefers to speak in English, but whenever he does I just say, “Non, je comprends pas…” Ha), and I love it! I love catching myself thinking in French or even accidentally replying to someone in French when they ask me a question in English. It shows that I’m advancing.

So yeah, life is good. God has blessed my husband and I, and our life here in France, and I am so very thankful for everything :) Yesterday I babysat my niece, and we took some pictures that I feel describe my emotions perfectly…

Titicollage

Have a good weekend, everyone!

I am employed!

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!