Alouette, gentille alouette // I’m coming back to school

School Bus

I have a new job: I teach French to French-speaking children. I’m an assistant for the main teacher, her class has ten 8 years old. After several classes, I’m started to like the ambiance “somebody stole my pen” and “Mathiiiiiildee can I go to the bathroom?!!”. But when I started, I was panicked.

I’m still waiting for my work authorization. I have time so I thought : what about some volunteering ? I’m here to experience the American way of life, so let’s try it. I saw an ad asking for a French teacher for children. I did a lot of students jobs, among them selling cheese, selling sportswear clothes, giving free newspapers in Lille. And I also taught French, history and philosophy privately. I applied for the job and after a while, I got an interview at 9am on a Monday (what?! 9am and when do I have my breakfast?! I’m not used to this anymore). Before going there, I was skeptical about this choice as a job. No worry, I’ll think about it later. My other principle since I’m in the US is to take every opportunity in serious consideration. The meeting went very well, I hit it off with my future boss (I know, it really sound like an ass-kisser). And this job will be over at the end of May, so it’s just 3 months to give it a try. It’s totally acceptable and it lets me a lot of time to practice yoga and see my friends. Let’s say YES!

Un flic à la maternelle - Kindergarden Cop

I loved that movie when I was a kid.

I went to one class “to see” and I said to myself : I can totally manage this, easily. It was probably too presumptuous. Two days later, I found myself in a class of very young kids, between 5 and 7 years-old. I couldn’t stay on my tiny chair, I really had to help the main teacher.
The kids who were done with their task came to sit on a rug and I had to tell them a story. They didn’t stop moving or crawling on the floor. Some of them wanted to sit on the exact same chair. Really?! I chose one book by chance, kids more or less sitting in front of me. I started to read the story and I realized it was about the loss of a grandfather. Great. I had to ask the children questions to see if they get the meaning of it. But what could I say: Raise your hand if your grandfather is dead or what death means to you. The children are French-speakers but they are not very good and I was hoping they didn’t understand very well. Pedagogy and psychology:  I was terrible. Bravo myself.
I was still reading the story, and I noticed that the children started touching the laces of my shoes, turned around my chair ; a little girl tried to sit on my knees. I was surrounding by them, I couldn’t escape, they were like mini-zombies attacking me!! Eventually, the main teacher asked them to sit. I was safe.

School board

Finally (and luckily), I had to go to a class with older children, and with a very nice teacher. The children are French-speaker but they go to American schools so the French is not natural to them anymore. They have a very cute accent.

The Hunger GamesAt the beginning of the class, we are used to do a small routine: what’s the day today, what’s the weather like, what book did you read this week? One of the girl was reading The Hunger Games and talked about it. All the kids became hysterical. (and so did I… I was reading the book too, recommended by a friend who is an English teacher in France #excuse). I was afraid she revealed the end. And she did spoil it.

News of the day: I have the level in English of a kid.


Writer, organizer and social media-ter for my own blog. When I'm not in front of my laptop, I'm organizing guided tours of Boston with my own company "Boston le nez en l'air". It's in French!

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  • Reply Mar 20 2012


    Bienvenue dans la grande famille de l’Education Nationale ; )

    • Reply Mar 21 2012


      Merci Margoulette !! Mais famille au sens élargi car l’éducation ici n’est pas vraiment nationale…

  • Reply Mar 20 2012


    J’ai bien rigolé et je me suis reconnue dans l'”histoire choisie au hasard dans la bibli mais qui ne conviens pas du tout” hahaha c’est terriblement gênant !
    Bonne continuation à toi :)

    • Reply Mar 21 2012


      Merci Lucie, contente que ça t’ait plu !
      Leçon bien apprise : la prochaine fois je feuilleterai l’histoire avant de me lancer.

  • Reply Mar 20 2012

    La Grande Blonde

    Chapeau bas, encore une fois… J’aurais decede encore plus vite que le grand-pere, assaillie par une horde de mouflets-zombies hauts comme trois pommes ^_^
    Ca doit etre une super chouette experience, une fois les premiers effrois passes et surtout une fois les techniques d’assommage de mouflets sus-cites bien maitrisees…

    • Reply Mar 21 2012


      Merci bien. La gestion d’enfants requiert ruse et patience… J’en saurai plus dans quelques semaines.

  • Reply Mar 20 2012


    “- Emma, retourne sur le tapis!
    – Non. j’suis pas un policier j’suis une princesse.”

    “bonjouuur monsieur Kimble ”
    Encore une VHS que j’ai regardée 10 fois :-)

    J’adore cette anecdote franchement! l’image des enfants zombies est PAR-FAI-TE ! Je l avais eu en avant-première au téléphone mais j’ai autant ri!

    • Reply Mar 21 2012


      Tu as oublié : “Ceci est un furet.”

  • Reply Feb 1 2013


    Ahah, je n’avais pas lu cet article ! Il était vraiment marrant ! Je suis d’accord pour dire qu’une classe d’enfants, ça fait peur !

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