First week of my internship – survival game

First week of my teaching internship at middle school in Pontchâteau (France) is over. And it wasn’t easy at all. Maybe you have already heard about the theory that French treat their children more like adults-in-training than helpless babes. They believe that kids feel confident when they’re able to do things for themselves, and do those things well. Well, they did the same thing with me. “Here is your classroom, here are your kids. Bon courage!”

I had some difficulties with children that were testing my patience and my limits. However, all in all, I did well! I survived the first week of, as I call it, The School of Life! And that is the point! Remember! Have confidence in what you have to offer. If you take pride in your work, it will show. Believe in yourself!

What have I learned this week?

1.There are 660 students. 23 classes : 6 Sixièmes (11 years old), 6 Cinquièmes (12 years old), 6 Quatrièmes (13 years old), 5 Troisièmes (14 years old). 4 buildings. Students learn English + Spanish or German. They also have latin classes!

2. Teachers have one / two hours for lunch. And they enjoy it as much as possible. There is entrée, plat du jour and dessert. Their lunch is different from the pupils’ lunch. You can learn more about teachers in the “Teachers” article.

3. Lessons are 55 minutes long. Break is 5 minutes long. Big break after every 2 lessons is 20 minutes long. Every day, students have one hour break for lunch and to have fun.

4. Children have some optionals subjects like CrossFit, yoga or football. Every day, except Wednesday, they finish at 16:45! Very long day for both pupils and teachers! On Wednesday, they finish at 12:35 and they don’t have lunch at school. They do some of the homework at school, but they also have to work a lot at home. So if they want to have some hobbies, they do it like at 6 or 7 in the evening. For example the piano lesson or sport.

5. Since there are many school buildings, pupils spend a lot of time outside, when moving to different classrooms or when they have one hour break. So it means much more fresh air than for Czech pupils! On the other hand, there aren’t any cloakrooms so they spend all day wearing their shoes and usually also wearing their jacket.

school bus
French education system (numbers on the left = age of students)

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