Backwards and Forwards

So, I got some cool news today: After being placed on the TAPIF waitlist (as all returning assistants are) I’ve finally been accepted to teach at the primary level in the Académie d’Aix-Marseille!

When I reapplied to TAPIF, I decided that I would only go back if it was for a good reason. Yes, it’s fantastic to be young and un-attached and travel and do whatever, which would be reason enough for some…but I’m getting to the point where I’m tired of living temporarily, figuring things out one year at a time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret a single thing about doing TAPIF the first time, and I wouldn’t change that year for anything. But coming back afterwards, I felt like I had taken a gap year from life and found myself pretty much back at square one in terms of being a poor, unemployed recent college grad, while many of my friends had a full year of ‘adulthood’ under their belts.

I want to live in France again. I miss the language, I miss the lifestyle, I miss everyday being an incredible discovery, even when that discovery was just finding out the French word for colander (it’s passoire, in case you’re wondering). But I don’t want to feel like I’m going backwards just to get there.

I’ve been thinking about getting licensed to teach elementary ed in the U.S. I’ve been sending lectrice applications to French universities. I interviewed for a job teaching middle school drama at my old middle school. I’ve looked up French immersion schools in the area. I’ve considered teaching myself Spanish since it seems like the only foreign language people (read: employers) care about in the U.S… I haven’t made up my mind about anything yet, but I think I’m finding my way.

At this point, it’s not necessarily “all roads lead back to France” for me….but many of them could! So while I’m WICKED excited to have this opportunity on the table, and especially to be placed in my top preference académie, and obviously knowing that the details are going to remain up in the air for too many more months… I’m trying to stay calm and regulate my reaction a little bit.

And thus concludes my Debbie Downer post about perfectly positive news!! Stay tuned! ❂

17 thoughts on “Backwards and Forwards

  1. I was in the same boat– I think it helps to have some objectives laid out for whatever path you choose, even if the objectives are very personal ones! Good luck with your decisions!

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  2. Congratulations! I totally, totally get that. I have an offer in France I’ve been pending on accepting for that reason… little pay, lots of hours of work, not sure if it goes backwards or forwards on the skill set. At least you have something in place.. and hey, if the lectrice thing doesn’t work out, you could always enroll in an M1 while you’re here, so you have that stupid master’s degree requirement under your belt, and plus you’d be in France already, which makes it easier 😉 xo

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    1. Thank you 🙂 it’s hard when you want to do something or be somewhere…..but not at any cost. How do you decide what’s worth it and what isn’t! But so nice to have options on the table at all!! xxx

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  3. Anne. This hits home. I’ve been in a similar position, transitioning constantly for the past two years–and still doing so. That doesn’t help, but I completely understand the debbie downer post about positive things.

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    1. Thank you, Ida! It does help to hear I’m not the only one thinking a life of transience is tougher than it looks. Particularly when so many people are telling you “oh you’re so young you should live it up and do this while you can!!” I don’t always know how to feel about it…

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  4. Congrats on the good news, and good luck with the next part… I know that four years in France has stalled my professional career, but it hasn’t been time wasted, and I think I always would have regretted not coming here. Excited to see where you’ll end up! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for this. Being surrounded by so many “young professionals” makes me feel like I have to find my career and start it NOW, even though I *KNOW* that isn’t true!!


      1. I totally get that! I think we can all agree that there’s no right way or wrong way, it just depends on what’s most important to you. I’m wayyyy late on the whole starting a career thing but I’ve been busy eating croissants in France 🙂 Priorities!

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  5. Congrats on the placement, Anne! And thanks for sharing this post. I am forever struggling between two instincts – one to go and explore and live adventurously and one to stay grounded and grateful to my current surroundings. Will be curious to see what you end up doing!

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