The last couple of weeks have been full of preparations for the school year to begin. There’s much to do on the administrative side (which I now handle), but there’s also a great deal to do as a teacher.
This year, I’m in new territory. For years, whenever anyone asked what I taught, the answer was simple: 7th and 8th grade English. When French I was added last year, I only mentioned it sometimes. Now, though, I hesitate every time someone asks me. I’ve handed my middle school English class off to a new teacher — one who’s more like a younger version of me. One who will continue to relate well to the students, I’m sure. After all, she plays Pokémon Go.
Amid the other administrative duties that come with summer, I’ve been working hard to learn more about French culture around the world to improve the French I that I’ve already taught and create a solid foundation for French II. This means my books on the French has only grown in the last few months.
One that I’ve been thoroughly engrossed in is Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French by Jean-Benoit Nadeau. While I have French lineage, my family came to the New World in the early 1700’s, when the Huguenots were kicked out of France, so there’s not much French culture left in family traditions. (Not that any of it would look like the modern French since modern France really started with the French Revolution in the late 1700’s.) It’s fascinating to read how differently they view things. In some ways, it feels familiar. In other ways, their culture is as different as Japanese culture is from ours.
So here’s to a new year filled with many familiar faces and new adventures.