So here I am, with a new blog and a website that is (ever so) slowly piecing itself together. The real blogging part of this site will begin when I go out to La Réunion and start work as an English language assistant for another year, but I just thought I’d post a sort of introductory something here to begin with.

As I sift through all of my old lesson plans, handouts and notes from the year I spent as a language assistant in France, I’m becoming more and more excited about the prospect of doing the whole thing over again. Remembering the lessons that went well and the games that were a huge success is making me ache to get to Reunion now and start teaching right away. But one year on, with my experience in France now a fairly distant and fond memory, I know that I am of course looking back through rose-tinted glasses. Not every lesson went that smoothly. Not all of my students were angels. There were the Friday classes in that horrid collège in La Fare des Oliviers that I would absolutely dread every week for fear of once again having to deal with students talking on their phones, ripping up each other’s work, throwing things at each other and at me, walking in and out of the classroom as they pleased… Then there was that one group of nasty 3ème students at Joseph d’Arbaud who made everything I ever tried to do with them a challenge. There were boring classes where I didn’t have such a free reign and had to sit through exam practice and help with dull homework tasks, and there were classes where I sat in and ‘assisted’ teachers who just didn’t know what to do with me.

The thing is, all of these difficult and challenging times just don’t matter in the scheme of things. Much as I hated some of those little 3ème terrors, I know that with experience I can only get better at controlling a group of students. I built up techniques to keep the whole class attentive and involved. I found out through trial and error what worked and what didn’t. And having difficult students in some groups made me appreciate the good lessons all the more, and made me feel all the more proud when I managed to actually get the trouble-makers to do some work. So as I start the assistantship again, I know that there will be challenges, but I also know that I am prepared.

Arrangements for the big move are going slowly but steadily. Here is a list of things I have so far achieved / hope to achieve fairly soon:

Book flights – check.
Get necessary immunisations – check.
Find a place to live – not quite.
Find a temporary place to stay until I find a permanent place to live – check. My very kind contact tutor has said that I can stay with her in La Plaine des Palmistes until I manage to arrange something. She’s also said she can pick me up from the airport, which will make my arrival much less stressful.
Get travel insurance – soon…
Start compiling old and new lesson ideas – check.
Make a list of things not to forget – possibly coming in a blog…

So, I’m sort of ready. A bit. The thought that I will be there in less than a month, though, is quite frankly terrifying. Exciting, of course, but terrifying. La Réunion is after all quite a bit further away than France was…

But I do love an adventure.