Managing your child’s English teacher – expat parents tread lightly!

Share Button

Every year parents of secondary school children are given the chance to meet the elite team of professionals entrusted with that most sacred of all missions: filling our children’s heads with the necessary information to succeed in life (or at least some of it), at the “soirée parents-profs.” This is a major event in the school year and one you may want to prepare for, because in most French schools you have to be quick – 10 minutes per teacher is all you get!

A cause of angst over the years has been meeting the children’s English teachers. Very early on I decided not to be judgmental. I know that primary school teachers, for instance, are rarely properly trained to teach English, most have had to adapt to a foreign language programme that was forced upon them. In fact, I can remember one of my boys being overjoyed when he started learning English at primary school. “But you can already speak English!” I said, somewhat surprised by his enthusiasm, “Yes, but now we’re learning REAL English from a REAL teacher!” came the reply. So hearing my children coming home from school singing “Heads shoolders nis and tos”, or talking about the “Boof à l’eau” (read buffalo) was no big deal, and I didn’t bother mentioning it. Even hearing that one teacher told the class if they couldn’t manage to say “What time is it?” they could just say “Boîte à musique” seemed funny, and not worth challenging.

As my children have grown older and I have seen written homework brought home with incorrect corrections, I have sometimes found it hard not to react. Generally, I write a simple comment in the margin, which has rarely changed any mark already given. To be fair, most of the English teachers I have met have been charming, enthusiastic about their subject and good at their job. However, I did once make the mistake of questioning a teacher on her language teaching methods (in a very polite a “just a suggestion” kind of way). Suffice it to say I soon found myself persona non grata in the English department, and parent teacher evenings were never quite the same again. Be warned – ten minutes are all you get. Use them wisely!

Rotating Ads

Place your ad here

Going out

Who the hell is Sugar Sammy? – That moment your wife tells you you’re going to see a French-speaking comedy in Paris

GOING OUT
Anglophones in Paris are fortunate to be able to enjoy a thriving English-speaking comedy scene, with regular stand-up nights across the city. Personally, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing most of these and have even [...]

Community News

COMMUNITY NEWS

360€ for 50 Hours Tuition!!! The Newest French Language School in Paris offers the most accessible rates

French language classes at Centre Zenith in the 20th arrondissement began on October 18th 2018. Founded by Sourav Choudhury, Centre Zenith brings experienced and native French speakers to the classroom where courses are explained with […]

Random Stories

Cover features

Just for Fun

interviews

Health

Family

Living

LIFE

Grumpy in Paris – 5 ways to beat the upcoming ‘winter blues’

Living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world has its many perks. A wealth of galleries, museums, delicious food, beautiful walks and a melodic language under no matter what context. But all pros have their cons and one of the lesser points of Paris these days is the ‘rentrée effect’ where people have come back from their holidays, said goodbye to summer and are now waiting for winter (even though we’ve only just hit autumn). Here are some ways to beat those winter blues and enjoy the colder season ahead … […]

Education

EDUCATION

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS & RESEARCHERS: GET ANSWERS TO THEIR QUESTIONS AND PAPERWORK IN ONE SINGLE PLACE! WELCOME DESK PARIS 2018

FOR THE 16TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, THE CITÉ INTERNATIONALE UNIVERSITAIRE DE PARIS HAS SET UP A MULTI-SERVICE WELCOME AREA FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS AND RESEARCHERS, FROM THE END OF AUGUST THROUGH NOVEMBER, WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE CITY […]

COMMUNITY NEWS

Non-Profit – The Paris Institute for Critical Thinking begin university quality courses in English

Paris is hard to beat for its cultural and intellectual vibrancy. But the city’s English-speaking inhabitants – whether from France or abroad — do not have many opportunities to employ the language in sophisticated intellectual […]

Use our IG hashtag #expatriatesmagazine - We print our favourites

Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.

Random Listing

  • Kitchen Staff
    Aide de cuisine/Plongeur - starting end of July, experience in kitchen and able to speak French preferable[Read more]