Today was difficult.

I had four classes and none of them went as smoothly as I would have liked.

In the first class there were only boys – you can imagine that scenario: 8 to 10 adolescent French boys in a classroom with a 21 year-old female American teacher. That is just begging for trouble.

They were all fairly immature. They couldn’t stop talking to each other, yet they did not have the desire to speak. Their level of comprehension in English is mediocre at best. I’m not supposed to speak French to them, as the purpose of my being there is for them to practice English with a native speaker.

Repeat that scenario about 4 times. Well, I ended up breaking my rule and spoke French. At the time it felt like the only way to get the class moving forward. It seemed to work.

In another class of students – mostly females, also fairly chatty – there was one girl who could not stop laughing. She just kept having fits of laughter. Honestly, it was quite weird and irritating. I later found out she had been out of school for a couple years and that she does the laughing thing often. Our interpretation is that she is having trouble re-adapting to the classroom.

I have now learned that just because a lesson worked perfectly and took the right amount of time in one class, that doesn’t mean it will work for every class. I tried to reuse a lesson, but apparently the classes levels were not at all on par even though they were all in the same grade.

All in all, a tough day.

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