Monday, 30 December 2013

If you're 'appy and you know it eat a cookie

I could have written this article...but I didn't. Pamela Druckerman did.

It's some reflections after going into her child's French classroom for a lesson on america and being American. 

Over the past 2 months, I went into both of my kids' classrooms once a week. For the little ones, I read silly stories like red hat, green hat by Sandra boynton and taught them silly songs in English like go away big green monster. 

For the ce1 (2nd grade) I tried to focus a little on American culture and history for the first couple lessons. Then I decided to just go with it. One lazy day, I went in with an empty jar and some paper cookies and we played "who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?" 

At first, I was a little worried because the kids weren't participating and I felt like a big dope in front of thirty kids singing by myself. Bu once they got going, they were awesome. They were actually having FUN ans SMILING, two things I do not necessarily associate with French school. 

And you know what? Suzanne's usually very good but strict teacher loved it! She loved it so much that she kept the jar and is going to do it with the class on a regular basis. And as she says in her article, there's something to be said for the fun quotient of Americans school that just doesn't exist in france. I'm not saying that's American school is all good, because it's not. But somehow, French school children forget to be children. And that's just sad....

At the end of my last lesson, the kids each got a fresh cookie. And you know what? They all said pleas and thank you. That just shows that you can learn and have fun at the same time. 

But I'll also add that ms. Druckerman's article does not reflect the excessive kumbaya spirit in many American schools or the fact that French kids score higher than American. So they are doing something very an American in France raising two Franco-American kids, I honestly do regret my kids not having the quintessential American school experience: the school bus, the lunch box, recess...but at the same time, I can give them all the good American-ness at home but I can't  give them the quality education they are getting at their little school in Lille, France. 

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Just read this article earlier today. So true! The kids literally don't know what to do when you present them with fun in school! But I agree with you, I think French school (at least before 6ème) is pretty solid in its education standards. Perhaps your kids could spend a few weeks in an American school (like in August before French school starts)? In any case I'm sure you give them plenty of Americanness at home!

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