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Allison North

I was working in finance in 2003 when I decided to take an evening introductory French course at Memorial during the winter semester. I’d been feeling rather uninspired and wanted to do something that really interested me, and when I thought back to high school days, I remembered enjoying my experiences in French class; so that’s what I decided to do, not knowing where it would lead. By the end of the summer, I’d completed a second introductory course, resigned my position, and enrolled full-time at Memorial. I headed straight into the fall semester at the Francoforum in Saint-Pierre – and though I never looked back, I still wasn’t quite certain where this voyage would lead me.

Because I’d transferred my college credits to Memorial, I was able to complete my B.A. with a major in French and a minor in Business just a year and a half later and though I did not yet have any designs on becoming a teacher, I was thrilled to join an inspiring teacher at St. Teresa’s Elementary School for a six-month position as a French Immersion teacher’s aide. I felt at home in the classroom, working toward becoming a teacher, all the while learning so much each day from my teacher mentor as well as our small charges. Needless to say, by the time June rolled around, I had applied to and been accepted into the Bachelor of Education Intermediate/Secondary programme at Memorial - my destination was becoming much more evident.

From September 2005 through the summer of 2006, I worked alongside unforgettable classmates to complete the requirements of the B.ED programme and was most fortunate to complete the programme in August of that year with a permanent full-time position with the Eastern School District as a Core French teacher at Bishop White School in Port Rexton. I spent two years working with and learning from a community of students, staff and parents whom I shall never forget.

In 2008 I transferred to Frank Roberts Junior High School in Foxtrap in an effort to be closer to family and friends at home in St. John’s. At Frank Roberts I have had the remarkable opportunity to teach in the Immersion programme once again, and I have been so fortunate to work in cooperation with and under the guidance of a remarkable group of teachers. As I complete my Master’s of Education degree this summer, I look forward to infusing my work at Frank Roberts next year with any number of useful tools I’ve taken from my academic study as I continue to learn from the ever-changing, never predictable day-to-day how to do best by my students. Student as teacher, teacher as student: The journey continues.


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