Two weeks in France with an Irish teacher [fr]
In January 2017, Irish teacher Ciara Baldwin took the chance to spend two weeks in a French school. She made the most out of the French-Irish Teacher Professional Visit Scheme, a programme from the CIEP (Centre international des études pédagogiques) and the DES that encourages exchanges between the schools and teachers from different countries.
Coming from Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G in Cork, Ms Baldwin, French and Gaelic teacher, joined the teaching team of the Collège Gustave Téry in Lamballe in Brittany between the 3rd and the 13th of January 2017, via the Professional visits scheme.
Kindly welcomed by the team of the French school, especially Mr Jean-François Grosset, she had two busy weeks teaching English and presenting Ireland and Irish culture to the French students. She also attended the classes of Latin, Maths, French and some of the classes given to SEGPA, students with special needs. Besides she had a chance to go to the local theater several times, as the French teachers use to organise visits and programmes for their students to attend plays in some of the theaters of the Brittany region.
Experiencing the French way of teaching, Ms Baldwin introduced a bit of Irish culture in the classes and even taught French students some Irish dancing, which they loved. Delighted by these two weeks, she got the opportunity to return the favor by receiving Mr Grosset in her school in Cork in February.
“An excellent programme and a worthwile concept”
Improving her French, discovering other teaching methods, Ms Baldwin does not regret any moment of this experience, which is definitely an asset in her professional development as a teacher. She may use some of the teaching methods she witnessed during these two weeks or use some of the numerous resources she bought in France (books, newspapers, magazines, dvds…).
After this meeting with the French students, Ms Baldwin is very keen on setting up an exchange between the two schools in the near future and strengthen the bounds between the two countries. She took advantage of this “excellent programme and (…) worthwile concept” to discover a different education system, to immerse herself in the French culture for a short while and build links with French students through fruitful cultural and linguistic exchanges.
Grateful to have been part of this professional visit scheme this year, there is no doubt that she would recommend what she considers as “a great experience” to the future applicants.