All posts filed under: Chambéry

What to Expect as a Primary English Assistant : 8 Questions and Answers

After my first TAPIF placement in Chambéry, I noticed that much of the TAPIF blogging community focuses on assistants in secondary schools. This is completely normal, as there are far more people placed at the secondary level! There are many commonalities between the expectations and experiences of primary and secondary assistants; there are also many specifics that are quite different. So, I wanted to create a resource specifically for primary teaching assistants, since teaching in elementary schools comes with its own challenges and circumstances that aren’t talked about as often. I’m about to start my third year teaching primary level English, and in that time I’ve experienced many different types of classrooms, colleagues, and schools. I thought now would be a great time to update my initial Primary Assistant FAQ post to include some of the new insights and tips I’ve gained in my two years as a teaching assistant in the académies of Grenoble (Chambéry) and Aix-Marseille (Marseille), as well as anecdotes from the many primary assistants I know and have worked with. This …

the gratte-frog

The four of us piled into our Airbnb apartment in Montpellier, France. As my friends began to change into their pajamas and brush their teeth, I examined the bookshelves: A full set of hardback Harry Potter books; several shelves of paperbacks, their titles written upside-down as is the way with French publishers; a small CD collection and an unplugged stereo; three little wooden frogs, decreasing in size. I now know these small wooden figures are called Frog Rasps, or güiros, a type of Latin American percussion instrument. But at the time, I just thought they were funny. Because we are hilarious, Julia and I decided to play a prank on Hannah and Rachel, who were quietly reading in the bed they were sharing in the other room. We waited until it was absolutely. quiet. and then… brrrrrrr-ap! , brrrrrrr-ap! the sound of the mallet stroking the frog’s bumpy back. “What the hell was that?!” we heard from the other side of the curtain that separated the rooms. We had already dissolved into giggles. Because apparently we are 12. …

croziflette

If you are dreaming of ways to add more carbs to your life, then I definitely have the recipe for you!! Tartiflette is a dish famous across France, but originates in the mountainous Alpine region of Savoie, where I lived. It’s the perfect dish to warm you up after a long day of hitting the ski slopes, or to clog up your arteries in a delicious whirlwind of potato, cream, cheese, and bacon. Really that describes all of the famous dishes from the region, which also include raclette and fondue. But my personal favorite version of tartiflette is a variation called croziflette, which substitutes the potatoes for a specialty made in Savoie, called the crozet. Crozets are tiny square tiles usually made with buckwheat flour. I like to think of croziflette as Alpine mac & cheese. This dish became our go-to for weekend get togethers, and always served up a week of creamy delicious lunch leftovers! Being Americans from the country famous for its casseroles, my friends and I often modified our croziflette to include broccoli or …

two very different lessons

This afternoon, I sat in on a lesson the school counselor was giving to my mom’s class of 3rd graders. They learned to be a “friend to some, kind to all.” They learned how to use “I Messages” when they had conflicts with their friends, and how to respond when their actions accidentally hurt someone. The class played a role playing game where the counselor gave a scenario, and with a partner, they had to play out how they would respond using the I Messages and Responses they had just learned. “I felt upset when you said you didn’t want to play with me. Next time could you please be kinder?” “You were mad when I said I wouldn’t play with you. But it’s because this game only has 4 players. Next time you can switch with someone to get a chance!” One year ago, I was helping the English teacher at my French school lead a very different kind of role playing game. This class of CM2, or 5th graders, was also learning about conflicts …

keys. wallet. phone. ✓

Looking through some of the memories from my jar, I found at least 3 that referenced getting locked out of my apartment. I suspect there are probably more, and that doesn’t even include the times I was locked out BEFORE starting to keep these notes, including locking myself out in the very first hour after moving into said apartment… I think my problem is because I’ve never really had to keep track of keys. When we moved to Arlington when I was 6, the house was already old. By the time I was coming and going on my own, the door had long been broken and no longer locked on its own. We never bothered to repair it or to make copies of the key to the deadbolt. In college, I only needed my ID to swipe into my building. I could have locked the door to my dorm room, but I was at the top of three or four flights of stairs, so I was never really nervous about potential thieves. Plus, the only thing …