Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Here's the Other Thing...On the Teachers

A lot of assistants out there complain about how rude the other teachers in their schools are and I don't doubt that. But the thing is, I didn't go into my schools expecting my teachers to befriend me and to become my insta-bffs I actually had no expectations of my teachers at all. They have their own lives and their own social circles why should they invite in a complete stranger who may or may not speak their language (aside from it being the nice thing to do)? I was hired to do a job and that's the only expectation that I had. I think that by having such low expectations has saved me a lot of frustration and angst at the end of the day.

I barely speak to the other teachers at my schools aside from the English staff the reason being my French skills are crap. To my surprise one of the French teachers that I have barely spoken to at my school actually struck up a conversation with my in English the other day. He asked me about my vacation and proceeded to excitedly tell me about his American cousin that would be coming for a visit in the next couple of days. Today, to my double surprise he invited me to come to his cousin's poetry reading next week.

So what's the point of my rambling? Well my point is, that long ago I learned to lower my expectations of people and of situations. In doing so it becomes substantially easier to exceed my expectations in many instances and I find myself less disappointed with the human race as a whole.


eclat said...

I agree with this. I also think that in general, people can be asses. It sucks when you HAVE TO actually be on the receiving end of it in the workplace.

I haven't had to deal with that here, but of course there are those bloggers that have and it's unfortunate.

I generally think that in Paris, people are a lot more cosmopolitan in their thinking and I don't experience such situations here NEARLY as much as I did in Montpellier (though I do have these experiences occasionally). People here seem to have a lot more class, to be honest...even if they are very similar or at their core like-minded in culture/mentality across the departements.

I agree. Keep those expectations low. It's unfortunate, but in the end, it's a lot less disappointment.

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

That's cool that your colleague invited you... Hope you have a nice time... Kids always amaze me, you know.. the things they say and do!! Anyhow.. Have a nice WE... Leesa

Anonymous said...

I went into the teaching assistant program with low expectations too, I had been reading the assistants in france forum and assistant blog for about a year and a half prior so I knew that experiences were really varied (ranging from very friendly teachers, to teachers who exploited, and ones who were downright mean). So my experiences of the teachers aren't really anything to do with my expecations, and they vary from school to school. I have one school where they are generally very pleasent, but I have a lot of crabby ones too.

Valerie said...

Is having low expectations really the answer?

The English teachers at my school have been amazing, whareas the behavior of the administration has been absolutely appalling. I don't think by lowering one's expectations in regard to treatment in the workplace is necessarily a positive thing. Yeah, maybe we won't be so disappointed if people turn out to be complete jerks, but so what? There is a limit to what a person should have to put up with. I don't know of any assistants who expected the teachers to be their best friends. I just think we all prefer to be treated with respect, and to be given the resources to do our jobs effectively... and if we come up short (and it means enough to us) we do what we can to change and improve the situation, rather than just accept it for what it is.

eclat said...

Yeah, what she said, too (above)! lol