Le Prof Francaise

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 01 2011


Hi!  I’m Danielle, and I will be teaching French in Detroit this fall (of course, this is contingent upon me actually passing the French exam).  I’m very excited about this opportunity, but I’m certainly daunted by the prospect of, you know, teaching.  I’ve worked with youth before, and I’ve even taught a class, but there were some differences, as I was:

a) teaching with someone else,

b) teaching a class of 5 (not 35) students, and

c) teaching for three hours twice a week, not eight hours five days a week. I’m scared out of my wits!  What if I’m boring?  (my biggest fear)  What if I can’t manage my classroom well?  What if I have bad experiences with crazy, irate parents?  What if my colleagues or principal despises me? (hard to imagine that one since I’m an amiable enough gal, but people pick silly reasons to dislike others sometimes, especially newcomers).

Still none of these fears of the future compare to what plagues my thoughts right now: What if I don’t pass the French test?  I’m not at all afraid of taking the Basic Skills or Elementary Ed exam (call it Hubris if you like, but I just think it’s easy material), but j’ai peur de l’examen francais.  —> (I’m afraid of the French test). It’s not just that I don’t have the same lexical adroitness in French as I do in English.  It’s just that I haven’t spoken French on a regular basis in a long time.  While I consider myself fluent, there are certainly some grammar rules that I have forgotten, as well as some cultural facts (yes, francophone culture/history/geography/all things social studies is going to be on the exam).  Also, there is a listening portion, and I understand French a lot better when they’re not speaking at an auctioneer’s pace.

I’ve been praying about it, so I know that I’ll be ok.  But somehow, that doesn’t make the nervousness wane.  Good luck to any of you who will also be taking exams in the  future.

4 Responses

  1. heikemarie

    If this is the Praxis French exam, then I wouldn’t worry about the listening. They play the listening, show you the questions, then let you listen again with the questions on the screen. Best of luck and welcome :):)

    • danielleinthed

      Thank you! I feel a bit better now :)

  2. Michael B

    Hi Danielle! I hope you’re doing well. I’m also interested in Teach For America, teaching French specifically and was hoping you’d be able to answer some questions I have. Thanks — look forward to hearing from you soon!

    • danielleinthed

      Bonjour, Michel,

      Feel free to ask me anything! I am teaching K-8 French right now (which is rough), but it could be worse :) Feel free to e-mail me at danielle.h423@gmail.com or you can just pose questions directly on this blog.

      P.S. ‘Michel’ is Michael in French, just in case you didn’t know and you thought I spelled your name incorrectly!

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A day in the life of a French teacher in Detroit

High School
Foreign Language

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