Learning from Life has been a truly amazing experience. I have loved every aspect of my placement and would not change a thing. I am so happy that I decided to come to France and did something I have never done before. Working in a French primary school allowed me to see how the Education System differs to Scotland as well as gain skills in relation to teaching English as a foreign language.
From a personal perspective this has been one of the best experiences of my life. I was apprehensive going into the placement as I had no idea what to expect. However, from the first day arriving in France I knew I had made the right decision. Being submerged in a new culture and environment was daunting but also very exciting. I wanted to make sure that I took advantage of every opportunity afforded to me during my time in France.
This placement not only allowed me to live in the beautiful city of Orléans but also travel on the weekends to Paris, a city I have fallen in love with. This experience has also brought me closer with people on the education course that I had never spent much time with before. This made the experience even better as I was able to share it with friends. Having the opportunity to travel around the country and try local delicacies has all added to the learning from life placement.
My role throughout the course of the placement has been to teach English as a foreign language. This is something I have never done before so was nervous in the beginning. However, I soon got to know the children and became more confident the more I taught. Having a native English speaker in the school was very exciting for the children. I was able to talk about what it is like going to school in Scotland, discussing the similarities and differences. I taught in CP (primary 1) and CM2 (primary 6/7). This was very fun as I had the chance the work with the youngest and the oldest children in the school. I was able to develop my teaching skills as well as gain experience of working in the early years.
My next university placement with be working with early years, therefore, I am so grateful to have had the chance to work with this age group whilst in France. I now believe I have a good understanding of how to teach young children. I have found that lessons work best in the early years when they are interactive and involve an aspect of creativity. I have built great relationships with the children over the past six weeks and it was very sad to say goodbye.
I believe I have achieved a lot throughout this process. I have challenged myself and taken advantage of every opportunity afforded to me. I have been able to develop my French linguistic skills as well as gain knowledge and understanding regarding teaching English as a foreign language. I have grown as a person and believe that learning from life has allowed me to do things I might never get the chance to do again. Living in France for two months and teaching in a French primary school has been one of the best things I have ever done. I will take with me everything I have learned and the connections I have made. I will be able to use the tools and skills gained here throughout the course of my teaching career.
Having the chance to see how the French education system works has given me many ideas for future teaching and learning. There are aspects of the French education system, with particular reference to learning a new language that I want to adopt when I qualify as a teaching professional. My passion for languages has grown throughout this experience and I want the children I teach in the future to have the best opportunities for learning a foreign language.
Overall, the learning from life experience has been the perfect end to my second year at university. I am proud that I challenged myself and did something that I will never have the chance to do again. I formed a great relationship with the teacher as well as the pupils and created French resources to take back with me to Scotland. I have arranged to stay in contact, so I always have a connection to France.