Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Continued Learning... the classroom!
Today, all of the interested Canadian students went to an information meeting about becoming teaching assistants. Since a lot of the Trent students are in concurrent ed and the Waterloo students in a French for teachers stream, the majority of our group showed up to find out more. Although volunteering as an assistant won't actually count as a third year placement, it will look great in our teaching portfolios!
So. What did I learn?
A lot about the French school system!
I've always been confused about how the schools work over here. Now it is a little clearer! I'll try to explain. They begin with "Maternelle", which I believe is like pre-school, for 3-6 year olds. Then, they are in "Primaire" when they are 6... this is like grade 1 for us. After that, they enter the "collège", which is from grade 2-9, but are all called different names. The term college is so very confusing... in France, it is like elementary school, in Canada it indicates a post-high school diploma program, and in the USA it is like university. So there is always lots of confusion. After collège, the students move up for three years of "Lycée,", which is like high school (grade 10-12). Here, they are split into Literature, Science, or Economic streams. Some high schools also have more specialized courses which prepare them for the workforce.
Some of the expectations for us in being teaching assistants include: leading small groups, observing the teachers and students, possibly teaching a class, conversing in English, and sharing a bit about Canadian culture. It is similar to our placements at home, except that I feel like we might actually get to do more. The fun part is that we will be English assistants, so instant masters in our subject!! Although, apparently they learn British English over here, and it is different from ours... we will have to see.
I chose to be in a high school, since that's where I eventually want to teach. I met up with one of the teachers and he said that I would be helpful Monday and Friday mornings, which work pretty well for me. The students I'll be assisting will be around the grade 10 age. Should be interesting!
Some other fun things:
-I'm signed up for the Paris Half-Marathon! I don't know why I did it, but I did. We will see how it goes!!
-My friends and I have pretty much finalized our plans for our trip to Italy, which included booking transportation and hostels. I'm looking forward to the adventure!
-The leaves still haven't really changed colour here! I am awaiting with anticipation...

1 comment:

  1. hah, yes there is quite a difference between UK and US English. When I was teaching ESL in Russia, they preferred to be taught UK English which meant having to say "car park" instead of "parking lot", "trousers" instead of "pants", and pronouncing words like "tomato" "to-MAH-to". Very strange to do as a Canadian native speaker but the UK english does sound posher I suppose!

    Good luck on the half-marathon! I am debating whether or not to sign up for the Edinburgh're definitely encouraging me to think about it!!