Friday, December 5, 2008

Balance?? I stopped working in February and didn't work again until November. I had 10 months of moving to France, decorating, friend visits, wedding planning and other things that didn't actually take up too much time. Now...I have three jobs (5 classes) and a kitten. How come I can't find a happy medium?

I must admit, I am typically a peeks and valleys kind of gal but this is nuts. This past week I taught everyday but Friday. This may not sound like much, but it has taken over my life! I guess I forgot how much work actually goes into teaching. It wouldn't be so bad if my school with two classes provided a syllabus or lesson plan, but there is NOTHING. This is what the description of my class says I should teach my students:

Business English around the following areas:
- Human Resources
- Corporate Structure
- Marketing

That's it. That's all I have. I have talked with the other 1st year teachers, but I have not really gotten too much. Everyone teaches something different. How in the world these students get out with any sort of similar education I don't know. The good thing is that they are going to implement a structured English program next year. By next year I mean Fall 2009. When I will probably be back in Houston because of Cyr's job.

Oh...did I mention that yet? Looks like we will be headed back to Texas in 2009 rather than 2010. We don't know when yet but I will keep everyone posted. At first I was really upset and dissappointed. I have been here (of and on) since February and I am still not fluent in French. I feel like I have wasted so much time and have not committed. I was waiting for free classes from the government and I have not even gotten my social security number yet. It take so long to get anything done here I will probably be back in Texas by the time we get the approval for the classes. But now I am warming up to the idea. Houston really does have a lot to offer, plus I can speak the language so I don't feel frustrated all the time when I need to try to do something myself.

Plus...the plan is for us to be in Houston for somewhere around 3 years. After that we will probably end up back in Lille for a while. Cyr also promises that we will try to speak more French with each other when we move. Plus there are so many people in Houston who speak French (get ready Jeanne, Marine, Ann and Ari) that I will be able to use the language a lot. Plus I will get to spend more time with my family, which is always good. Not to mention my friends and all the new babies they are having (Jen and Missy hello!). Silver lining. I'm looking for it...


Leesa said...

Hi Susan...

Rather than comment on all of this... I'll give you a call this weekend... I'm still sick so I'm not going anywhere fun til Sunday!! Thanks for your well wishes, by the way!!!! Take care and talk to you soon... Leese
You guys have a nice weekend...

Anonymous said...

That's the crappy thing about teaching is that there is so much freakin outside preparation to do (unpaid as well). Why teaching is such a desired job in this country I will never understand.

On in their ESL section you can find a example syllabus (sorry I don't have the link!). You can take that and adapt it to the topics. Probably you should cover the subjects and grammar basis they suggest and then integrate it with vocab and role plays/exercises relating to human resources/corporate structures/marketing etc. Too bad they haven't given you any books!

You already know about my story with the free classes!

After your intense course that you did though you will probably already be above the entry requirement (in that you can say your name, address etc). I met someone else the other day who is just going through all the integration stuff and the French test was ridiculous, unless you have zero knowledge it's pretty difficult to get in, like it's the basic of the basic. Although where it could be useful is that it will put you in an immersion environment for a few hours (speaking and hearing French for a long period) and that is really helpful, probably more helpful than the topics they would cover at such a low level.

Is there a not too expensive course in your area? If you can you should definitely go for it.

Andromeda said...

I found lots of fun ways to keep speaking French while I was home this summer, I would have loved it if there had been actual French people around! So you'll be fine.

And only a few more weeks of teaching then a nice long break, so I'm sure with the new year they'll be a whole new energy and attitude towards it.

Marie said...

Wow, now I understand why I hear so little of you...and we are only 15 minutes apart !
I look forward talking with you or reading you !
Get plenty of rest ! Everybody around me is feeling so exhausted. Even my daughter (she's 7 tomorrow BTW !) has "cernes" (I forgot the English word, sorry !).

Susan in Lille said...

Leesa - I'll give you a call this week to catch up, I sure hope you are feeling better.

Rochell - It doesn't seem to be as wanted here, I know a few places that need to hire. Or maybe there just isn't the influx of English speakers here in Lille. Dunno...oh, and I think you are right about the free classes, I don't know if I will qualify even if I fake it really badly. We'll see...

Andromeda - My little ray of sunshine and positivity! Thanks for the post. ;-)

Marie J - I know! I am so bad about emails too, I am just going to call you to catch up!