My exposure to the French language began at a young age since my mother was French Canadian,born in Gatineau, Quebec. At the age of 7 she relocated to Ontario with her family. Upon moving to Newfoundland to make a life for herself and start a family after marrying my father at the young age of 16, communication with her parents and siblings took place via telephone and was always in French. This is what I remember as a child and what initiated my love and fascination with the language. Sadly on August 1, 2011, I lost my dear mother. French was such an important part of her family's life and identity. It is only fitting that I, too, continue to learn and improve my French language skills and share my passion for it with my students, as she did with me.
In high school, I excfelled in French and decided to enroll in university after Level 3 where I completed a French major plus a semester of study in Saint-Pierre as well as a summer language bursary program in Quebec. Before long I was a student with the Faculty of Education at MUN. Upon the successful completion of my program, the tedious job search began. I lucked out and landed a permanent position in central Newfoundland, where I taught for two years. When I decided that I wanted a change in my life, I was hired with the Eastern School District, at my own Alma Mater where I taught for 5 marvelous years. It was also during those years that I made the decision to begin my Masters in Education program in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum with a specialty in Second Language Learning. But that wasn't enough...
During my last year in Placentia, I knew that a change was imminent. I felt that I was losing my skills and that I truly needed to be re-immersed in the language. How else better to do this than to go to France itself? I applied to the CIEP program and was given a placement in Bretagne, on the west coast of France where I worked for 6 months (split between two junior high schools) as an English language assistant. From group work to one-on-one time, exchange trips to school functions, I was considered a part of their working team and was welcomed with open arms. Leaving was bittersweet, undoubtedly, and I hope to return there someday to continue to work on my oral proficiency in the language. I feel that all second language educators should.
Doors began to open for me after this experience and upon completion of my Masters, I began teaching French Immersion in Mount Pearl and landed an amazing job at O'Donel High School. I just recently started year three and hope that there are many more to come.
There is no doubt in my mind that having French as a teachable area was the determining factor in successfully and quickly finding employment within my field. Today, eleven years later, I am still a French teacher and can honestly say that I made the right decision and that I am more than happy with my career.