Having this pre practicum experience has given me further insight into the French culture. I have noticed little things that I never really would have thought of before this. Specifically, at multiple times throughout the semester we did activities that dealt with the seasons or the months of the year where students needed to come up with holidays and different things to describe the seasons or months. When I think of Fall, I automatically think of Thanksgiving and Halloween, but in France, they do not celebrate either of those holidays making my suggestions for Fall limited because of my lack of knowledge about French holidays. They have a different day of independence, different holidays in general, and recently, I found out that they have a different Mother’s Day in France too (I figured that one out when I gave my host mom a present on America’s Mother’s Day, and she was very confused).
Also, the program at which I am student teaching is run and owned by a woman who is from Britain, another culture with which I am not familiar. It is extremely interesting because the teachers at my placement teach British English therefore some spellings and sayings are different from what I am used to in the United States. Further, similar to the examples with French culture, my placement has drawn my attention to different holidays and celebrations the British have in comparison to the French and Americans. I love how I have been able to gain insights into both French and British cultures throughout my semester.
Considering all of this I have realized how important it is to consider culture and be sensitive to other cultures while teaching. I think I will be able to use this and apply it in my practicums to come as well as my own classroom. There are so many students in the United States that come from all over the world causing them to potentially have different holidays to associate with different seasons, or even have different weather associated with different seasons. Overall, I hope that being immersed in a different culture for a semester will help me in the years to come with my students and especially those who have different cultural backgrounds from my own.