I thought about telling you all how I had come down with the flu, including a fever. But frankly, I'm so sick of being sick, I just had to come up with something else.
So I've decided to tell you how I became a French teacher. First of all, I wanted to be a teacher ever since I began school at age 6. I fell in love with my teacher and promptly came home and announced to the family that I would be a teacher when I grew up. My future plans never changed, except for the fact that when I started to learn French in Grade 7, I thought perhaps I could be a French teacher.
I'll never forget my first lesson - the teacher, a first-year teacher whom I thought was SO old and was probably about 21, flounced into the classroom (wearing - I will never forget - a belted shirt dress with short sleeves, a collar, and full skirt - anyone else remember that style?) She stood in front of the students and said:
J'entre dans la salle de classe.
Je regarde autour de moi.
Je dis bonjour au professeur.
Je prends ma place.
Well, of course, everyone just looked at each other as if the teacher was fou (crazy). No one understood a word she said. So she just went outside the classroom again, closed the door, and after a moment or two, she repeated her performance. I think it was after the third or fourth performance that a few kids started to get the idea. And we moved on.
In my last year of high school, I had a fantastic French teacher. However, she did intimidate me a bit. She was very strict and formal, insisting on absolutely perfect behaviour, attitude, and performance. However, I still loved the sound of the language and worked hard to get good grades. Towards the end of the year, each student had to give a speech in French to the whole class and after the speech, the teacher would ask questions - yes, in French - and we had to be able to answer in French. I prepared very carefully and I'll never forget that just after Madame asked me her question and I was trying to come up with the answer, the bell rang to end the class. Never have I ever been so relieved - saved by the bell - literally!
Off I went at age 17 to the University of BC and studied for five years to be a French teacher. Along the way, I also studied four years of Spanish and a year of Italian. I can't say I'm fluent, but I must say I love the sounds of these languages and when I was in France, Italy, and Mexico (still have to make it to Spain) I was in my glory and was picking things up very quickly.
Now after teaching for many many moons and being retired, I still enjoy tutoring kids - usually boys - in French as a second language. (I think it's something about the right brain versus left brain thing with boys and second languages.) As it is, I must run since today's student will be here in about five minutes.
Thanks to Denise Nesbitt for hosting ABC Wednesdays. Click here to view participants' posts or to find out how to join in.