Sunday, 10 October 2010

Flat hunting and first week of teaching

I managed to find a flat! Well, more accurately a freelance agent found it for me. It's a studio in the 11th/12th arrondissement, close to Bastille and Nation. It's convenient as it's on line 8 to Créteil and it's in what seems to be a thriving area.

It's a great relief to have found somewhere; the process was starting to drag on. There's still a lot to be done - I have to provide them with a lot of paperwork and sign for it, but things are definitely looking good.

Last week was the observation week at my lycée. I found that the students weren't very good at English. Lycées have children from about 15 years upwards, and the students at mine had trouble forming basic questions to ask me. They were reasonably disciplined and were all curious that there was an "Anglais" at their school. I sat in on a sociology lesson where they talked about the current strikes over the proposed retirement reforms, and a French lesson where they were discussing a Baudelaire poem. The staff were brilliant; I couldn't have wished for a better welcome from them. All of them have helped me start to settle in.

There is another orientation day organised by the académie, and no school Tuesday as my (fellow) teachers are on strike. "La rétraite: c'est le vivre et pas le survivre".

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