One of my earliest memories of learning French was grade 4; It was our first French class, and we had all heard the rumors of horrible French teachers and boring classes. I remember our young, cheerful teacher bursting into the classroom singing, “Bonjour Classe!” That moment stuck with me forever, I was hooked! It was because of my positive memories in school and continued interest in the French language that I eventually pursued French at MUN.
Being as bewildered and confused as most first year students, it wasn’t until my second year at MUN that I decided I would try French. To this date, it was the most rewarding experience of my life. I was immediately welcomed into the French environment by the entire department. My professors were warm and caring, they tried to get to know me, they were personable, interesting, skilled and knowledgeable and they cared for me and my learning. Their enthusiasm radiated and influenced me in a way that has changed my life. Once again, it was because of these positive experiences I knew I wanted to be a French teacher.
In pursuit of my French degree I travelled and went to school in the French milieu of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, which was until now as a teacher, the most rewarding experience of my life. Through French I’ve gained lifelong friends and acquaintances, as well as confidence in my knowledge for the language.
Once my degree was finished I continued to the Faculty of Education, where my abilities in French and my new-found knowledge for teaching came together. Just as before, being a part of a faculty that welcomes you and makes you feel a part of something really makes a difference, and that was exactly how I felt.
As most people know, French is an asset and almost a necessity when it comes to the workforce. The same is true when it comes to teaching and attaining a position. Since it is a mandatory subject in most schools and with the increase in French Immersion education, French is a highly desired teachable, therefore allowing French teachers gain the positions they want. As I attended job fairs throughout St. John’s, as soon as I would mention my French background, district representatives would pay closer attention and be more interested in obtaining my credentials. It made me feel very secure in my chances of not only getting a teaching position, but getting one in an area I wanted.
Today, I am enjoying my first year of teaching in Fort McMurray, AB. From the time when I was officially hired by the Fort McMurray Public School District to the day when I left to drive across the country, I had received 3 or 4 calls for teaching positions within Newfoundland and Labrador. While it is true what they say about the first year of teaching; the late, late nights, never-ending pile of forms, papers, correcting, etc., this year has been an extreme learning curve that in itself is never-ending. I am currently teaching junior high Social Studies, Language Arts, Art and French. Every day when I plan and teach, I am influenced and motivated by those who have influenced and motivated me. I am so grateful for my educational and personal experiences I had at MUN. Hopefully, everything I have learned and taken from those who have taught me will be passed on and continued through those whom I teach today.