Friday, 4 September 2009

My non-rentrée

Just as everyone has been gearing themselves up for the return to school/work, I have been gearing myself up for my first non-rentrée since living in France and let me tell you, it's a mixed bag of emotions.

For the more informed amongst you, I've been doing my best to find a route out of teaching and the process has turned out to be heart-wrenching and well, dam hard.

I've been through relief when I finally decided to leave teaching, joy when an organisation took me on for a bilan de competences, and most recently I've mostly been through hell. It seems that it is genuinely THIS difficult to retrain. I have a BAC+4 in all things scienecy and yet my hoop jumping and administrative party tricks are still not enough to get me onto a BTS. Frankly, I'm done with my party tricks and I don't think it's necessary for me to degrade myself further. I still have a little self worth despite France having ripped most of it out of my chest along the way.

So, what's in store for me this rentrée? I could teach.... Only today I've been contacted by my boss at the uni and asked if I wanted to do a second year as a lectrice as they still have space. I turned it down. Tell me I'm brave and not stupid. On the way up to uni this morning I felt physically unwell. I was going to consider taking the job but seeing all the students on the bus reminded me how much I hated it. Yes, I have loads of stuff prepared already but the idea of doing the same things and having the same problems was enough for me to say no. It was hard though. I'm trading in a job for the job centre. It's a gamble but not too much of one considering I'd be in the same position this time next year anyway - jobless with no extra real experience to put on my CV.

People may think I'm mad to turn down a job but I'm never going to get out of the cycle without being brave. So, my rentrée is being dedicated in trying to pick up the pieces after the psychological damage I've sustained along the way during these last 4 years. Someone recently told me that I was too young to be so unhappy with life and I agreed.

I'm starting French lessons this month in order to regain my confidence in myself. I'm sending CVs left right and centre with the motto 'I can but try' to organisations that I think might need a 'me' and later in the year I plan to do more mini-courses at the adult education centre and maybe do some informal 'try-out' periods in jobs that interest me.

I don't think this year is going to be easy, but I have to try and find a non-teaching job in order to save my sanity. And today, just knowing that I have a non-rentrée back to a teaching job is enough for me.


Andromeda said...

Everyone at the préfecture who I dealt with to switch from salarié status to étudiant was like, why? As in, why would you give up a perfectly good job to be a student again?? Ummm, cause I want to do something I really like instead of just something to pay the bills?

My mom got her masters in education in her late forties after having been a lawyer for twenty years, so it's never too late to start over! Good luck!!

MilkJam said...

good for you! not easy but like you said you're going to have to break the cycle sometime, especially since you know that you're not cut out to be a teacher.

stick to your guns! you're going to find something!!!

Ksam said...

Ugh, my dear, I know your fear all too well - but if you don't want to get pigeon-holed into teaching English, it's worth it to take the leap!

I have a Bac+4 as well and my diploma is worthless in France. The equivalent is only a BTS, which I actually did the first year of, but it was so morally demeaning that I stopped (not to mention that it wouldn't have given me access to the kinds of jobs I wanted anyways).

It may be tough going for a while, but just keep telling yourself it will all work out in the end. As the French say, courage !

Rochelle said...

You've done the right thing m'dear. At least you won't look back on 2009/2010 and say 'there was another year I wasted teaching English'. It'll be hard but I don't think you'll regret it :)

As you know I'm in exactly the same situation as you and from what I can see, unless you break the teaching English cycle early on, you never will. So embrace your decision! It's a good one (in my opinion as I hate teaching English as well!)

americaninparis42 said...

Hi! You left a comment on my blog, so I wanted to respond. The short version is I will be starting school on Friday for a masters in international relations at a small American school (ASGIRD). Afterward I'm not exactly sure what I want to do, but I know that this is at least the direction I want to be maybe go into diplomacy, humanitarian work, or go on to get my PhD and go into teaching. However, to get to this point took a lot of time researching schools and programs on the internet, visiting schools and talking to professors and professionals, buying books on Amazon, etc. After I figured out what I wanted to do, I had to take the entrance exam (GRE) and that took a good 3 to 4 months to prepare for. After I had everything together I had to finish the application.

So yeah, it all takes a lot of time between figuring out where you want to go, and then figuring out how you are going to get there. If you want the long version, I would be happy to meet you for coffee. I wish you luck, and I have faith that you will find your way! Bon courage!

Frou Frou said...

Hi! Did not find the answer but I am curious why you found teaching at uni so hard?
Take care

Emmy said...

Hello FrouFrou

I fell out of love with teaching a while ago, before my last job. At Uni I had mainly classes, for whatever reasons, who didn't take part in lessons that I'd slaved over for hours at the weekend, my questions or even greetings were met with silence and I had too many students that were generally disrespectful and rude.

I found generally with teaching that there was no team spirit amongst teachers, and often I felt that no one would even notice or care if I turned up to give class. I was fed up with giving all of my time and energy and only receiving negativy.

Time to move on from that!

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