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Master MEEF Anglais : FAQ

A little while ago I posted about how I became a teacher via the CAPES / CAFEP concours, and mentioned that part of my preparation included a Master program called the MEEF Anglais (Métiers de l’enseignement, de l’éducation, et de la formation). My goal in this post is to give prospective students an honest account of my experience in the MEEF so that they can evaluate whether or not this program fits their objectives. As its name implies, the Master MEEF is designed for future teachers. However, although I’ve never completed a Master of Education or a teacher licensing program in the States, I feel pretty confident saying that that the French MEEF is quite unlike most American M. Eds… But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, let’s start with some basics… WHO can enroll in the MEEF ? The MEEF Anglais is destined for prospective teachers, and more specifically, teachers who want to work in secondary schools under the Education Nationale. It’s not really suited for people who just have a casual …

How I became an English teacher in a French high school

Since Fall 2018 (roughly around the time I stopped writing regularly on this blog…), I’ve been venturing into the complicated, sometimes arduous journey of becoming a qualified English teacher in French secondary schools. In the handful of Facebook groups I participate in, I field a lot of questions about this, because many former teaching assistants are interested in staying in France after their assistant gigs are over. While there are several ways to get into teaching in France, in this post I want to lay out the path that I took ! TYPES OF SCHOOLS First things first, there are several different types of secondary schools in France, and it’s important to understand the differences, because the recruitment process is different for each. I. The first type of school is public schools which are run by the Education Nationale, the Education ministry of the French government. For teaching assistants that went through TAPIF or British Council, this is the type of school where you worked. If you have EU citizenship, you can be recruited for …

Six months gone by…

It seems like all of my posts recently have begun in the same way: “Wow, I can’t believe it’s been such a long time since the last time I wrote! Oof, it’s been a crazy couple of months – hard to find time to write! Yikes, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?!” So anyway…. it’s been a while, hasn’t it!? Last time I wrote, it was the beginning of June, I had just returned to the US from Marseille, and had a couple of days off before beginning 9 intense weeks of non-stop summer camp. Since then, I successfully finished that marathon of skits and crafts, I attended my best friend’s wedding, moved back to France, started a Masters degree, got settled in a new city, and even fractured a bone! So, yeah. I’d say that it’s been a busy couple of months! So, here’s what you should know about what’s been going on with me since June: I still live in France. In September, I moved from Marseille to Toulouse, in the south west, …

24 mars – my day in stairs and hills

7:48      Slam the door, run down two flights : 40 stairs 7:49     Down the hill to the metro 7:53     Down three flights to the platform : 82 stairs 8:12     Down the escalator to the bus stop : 26 stairs 8: 29    Up the hill to the school gate 8:32     Up the stairs to the second floor (the third floor by U.S. standards) : 32 stairs 10:15    Down to the teachers lounge for recess : 32 stairs 10:33    Back up to the second floor : 32 stairs 11:30    Back down for lunch : 32 stairs 1:35      And up again for afternoon classes : 32 stairs 3:00    And down again for afternoon recess : 32 stairs 3:15     Class on the first floor this time, last class of the day : 16 stairs 3:45     Back down the stairs, down the hill, into the bus, up to the Metro platform 4:37     Up the long elevator to the street … just kidding I’ll ride …

23 mars – when you gotta go…

Many little family shops or neighborhood bars have quirky bathrooms. You know the ones I mean. Some are covered in cheeky murals, others have funky toilet paper holders, and they all extend or reveal a bit about the character of the establishment. France is notorious for particularly grim public restrooms. They usually consist of a toilet with no seat jammed into a closet so small your knees are practically grazing the wall. And they often leave a lot to be desired in terms of cleanliness. But hey, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. Desperate times and all that… Which is how I found my self face to face with this toilet. I have to wonder about the sign… What event (or events) lead to its posting ? Why is it in English ? Is that really what the proprietor intended to say ?? Whatever the answers to these questions, it really made me laugh. And the toilet was fairly clean to boot! All in all a worthwhile foray into the sketchy world of French public bathrooms! ❂   …

21 mars – from my table

From my table, I see the old men playing pétanque for hours on end. I watch, impressed, as their heavy metal balls clink effortlessly against their opponents’, decades of practice making the gesture as natural as walking.   From my table, I hear the school bell signaling students and teachers. I listen to its cheery, etherial music as it marks the passing hours. From my table, I feel the tram rumble far beneath me as it runs on the track directly below my street. I think of the thousands of strangers getting off and on the train each time it passes by. From my table, I smell the new candle I bought last week, scented with orange blossom. I inhale the sweet floral perfume and my mouth waters thinking of the delicious navette cookies, traditional in Marseille, scented with the same fragrance. From my table, I taste my afternoon snack of Granny Smith apple slices spread with store-brand nutella. I savor the tart, tangy juice of the apple mixed with the sweet, nutty chocolate. ❂   Slice of Life is a daily writing challenge …