Yesterday was my final day as an English language assistant in Paris. I have loved every single moment of my time teaching, and could not have asked for a better school, with the most wonderful students. When applying to be a language assistant I was a little apprehensive about what the students would be like, what I would teach them, and whether they would enjoy it. Upon arrival, I found the easiest way to approach creating lesson plans was to focus on what was happening right here and now. For example, when it was Halloween in the UK I found plenty of inspiration to help me teach my students all about the different cultures and traditions they do not have in France. They loved it! They also loved hearing all about my personal life. Where I attend university, what I study, if I live in a city, what is the city like … the list is never-ending. And now, seven months later, its all over! No more lesson plans, no more eager students wanting to know what was planned for the next lesson, and no more playing Simon Says at the end of a lesson if the students were on their best behaviour.
The whole experience has been amazing. I can highly recommend anyone to become a language assistant. I can’t imagine myself spending a year abroad doing anything else! I don’t want to become a teacher, and I didn’t before I arrived, but the skills and experience I have gained from these entire seven months of working is indescribable. Now, I’m finding myself still walking down the street and having ideas pop into my mind and saying “Oh I can teach my class about that next week!”. Its very bizarre.
I am extremely happy with the way I ended my time as a language assistant. I announced to each class at the beginning of the lesson that it was my last time with them, and that we would have a fun lesson of English games, and questions and answer sessions about Britain before I left. I think this first week of having no work and not needing to think of potential lesson plans will be the hardest, and it was surprisingly difficult to say goodbye to most of my classes. But deep down, I know that my time teaching in Paris has given me so much experience and a completely new outlook on how to communicate with younger people with different needs and learning styles. And I like to think that all my students can take something away from my lessons to help them better their futures too.
Would you like to be a language assistant or a teacher one day?