So I have some catching up to do. Between winter vacation (two weeks off in February) and teaching and working out plans for next year, updating the blog has gotten away from me. But I want to be faithful! I will play catch up over the next week.
Here’s something I wrote a few weeks ago and didn’t get posted before I started traveling for our break. My three favorite times of day:
- Carpooling to school
There are a handful of teachers who live in Bourg and work in the same village as me, so I have a good selection of people who taxi me to school. Since my schedule changes every week, it’s always a fun scramble to figure out who starts and finishes teaching at the same time as me. Regardless, car conversations are the perfect opportunity for me learn about upcoming holidays (this past week was Chandeleur—a holiday to celebrate the beginning of Lent. It’s a day where you eat crêpes. That’s about it), hear the latest about teacher’s sentiments regarding the reform and other educational policy, and find out more about the personal lives of my coworkers. Lunchtime conversations can be overwhelming with so many people talking at once, but just me and one teacher means focused, really good conversation. And anytime I’m riding with an English teacher, I berate them with questions about expressions I’ve heard lately and how they translate. They’re so gracious with me!
- “Aha” moments in English class
English class can be a challenge for my students because I try really hard to only speak English with them. For the little ones, this means TONS of repeating and miming. This week with my sixièmes (10-11 year olds), I hand-drew a map of my hometown to practices places and placement prepositions (next to, in front of, opposite, etc.). I gave them a place and some directions (It’s opposite the library on E. Central St.) and they had to draw in the place on their map. We used Google Maps Streetview afterward to check if they placed things correctly. Some got it immediately and had no problem with each direction. Some haphazardly put buildings on the map at first and slowly started catching on. After 45 minutes of repeating the same basic sentences and changing only the location, everyone was on board and we played a fun game with our newly finished maps. I really love those kiddos.
- Coming home to kittens
No doubt, the most relaxing part of my day is when I come home and feel like my brain can take a break from French for a little while. Usually, as I start making dinner, a furry guest or two will make their way upstairs to come say hi and wander around. Raikou usually finds something to play with (he loves to try to sit in shoes) and Lexi generally comes and stands on my feet purring until I pick her up or sit on the floor to play. Sometimes, if I’m already making dinner, I choose to pet her with my feet so I can keep cooking. This was the progression of how it went the other day. She was satisfied with foot petting. She got a good stretch. Then she decided she wanted to be in my arms so she thought she’d climb my leg. Unfortunately, that part didn’t go so well since her claws got stuck in my jeans and I yelped, “ouch!” She looked at me like, “I climb other things and you don’t complain…” I think I made up for it when I let her sleep on my chest as I watched Netflix last night.
So as I said, I’ll work on catching up. Vacation was the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure with some of the best company I could’ve asked for. Getting back into the rhythm of teaching is the challenge now, but it’s one I welcome gladly because I just love what I get to do every day!