French Lycée!

French Lycée!

Well, I have just finished my 13th day of school! I am sorry I have waited so long to post but I needed some time to settle in. Whenever I talk to friends of family at home they always ask me about school. So I thought that maybe I should do a post just about my day in school.

My school here has 5 educational buildings. The educational buildings are buildings A, B, C, D, and E. Then you have the cafeteria/restaurant, the administration building, the apartment building, and finally the sport complex. All the buildings at first really confused me. At my school in the USA we have one building and you can go from one end to the other in 3 minuets.

The educational buildings are where we have all of our classes. It took me a few days to figure out how the rooms and buildings work. On your time table you look for the class you are attending and under the class name you can see a room number with a letter. Some of the room numbers are so small you have to guess and hope you are right. For example, if the time table said room B306, you would go to building B up to the 3rd floor (which we call the 4th floor because here the bottom floor is the ground floor not the 1st, if you go up one floor then you are on the first) then you would find room 6. In some buildings though it will say B306 and others just 6.

The cafeteria/restaurant is an amazing place. At my school in the US, everyone thinks of school lunches as gross and small. Here though, they are big and taste great! The cafeteria works like this. On the first day everyone was given a card, the card is used for your lunch and if you leave school and come back and for some reason the gate is locked. You just swipe your card and it opens. My school has so many kids that you usually wait in line for lunch for about 10-20 minuets. Once you are inside you swipe your card and a tray is dispensed. You go down a line and you take a salad, cheese, bread, fruit, dessert, and then the hot meal. After you get your meal you get your utensils and a cup. Again, my school has so many kids that you would now wait until there is a free table. After you are done eating you place your tray on a conveyor belt and leave. I should also mention that the meals are served on real plates and with real utensils nothing is plastic.

My school also has a pretty big sports complex. You have gym or sport for 2 hours once a week. Usually you choose one sport for the month. They are very strict with changing your clothes for class.

I have made quite a few friends here. They really help me. If I do not understand something with homework or in class we can usually solve the problem with a few english and a few french words. When I first got here most of the communication was very simple french phrases and a lot of hand motions, but now I can understand a lot of what they say and I am slowly working on speaking. I have already noticed a difference In my classes. The first week i was sitting in class and the words were going in one ear and out the other. Now I can understand the main topic of a lesson. I even joined in a discussion about New York in history class. I said one simple sentence but it was a huge step for me.

Teaching Style

I had always thought the French classrooms were like a small prison. Now that I have sat in quite a few, I know that they are actually a lot like american classrooms without the posters and decorations. There are not a lot of lectures. A lot of what we do is class discussions and reading. I am starting to prefer the French classroom to the American.

When you enter a classroom, you take out all your materials and place them on your desk. This is done so you are not a distraction during class by going through your bag and making noise. You also do not sit down until the teacher says to. I have still not gotten used to that and I often find myself in my seat while others are standing. The French are also not very technologically advanced. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING is handwritten. There is one computer in every classroom and it’s so the teacher can take attendance. This computer though is like the big box ones that are cream colored and just look very old. There is a computer lab that I have one of my classes in. It’s not big or fancy.

The French teens are also obsessed with being organized. Every class has its own notebook that is clearly labeled. You always have a pencil and sharpener. There are no pencil sharpeners in the classrooms. The pens are the ones where there are different color inks in one pen. Most of them are blue, red, black, and green. When you take notes in class you will use every color!

Well that is all I have time for today. My next update could be as early as Monday or Tuesday and will have pictures of everything I talked about here.


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