Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I would just like to say to everyone that y'all need to go out and see "Entre les murs" straight away. I saw it yesterday and it was by far the best film I've seen in a long time, and it portrays a side of French education & culture that's often hidden from the public. (It's sort of like the French version of "Dangerous Minds").

envoyé par elle

In other education-related news, Laurel Zuckerman's book, The Sorbonne Confidential, is finally being released in English. Her book is loosely based on her experience trying to become a public school teacher in France - those of you who've tried taking or who have even considered taken the CAPES/agreg here will really identify with a lot of the story. The book launch is planned for October 14 at WH Smith at 7:30pm. I'm really disappointed that I'll be out of town for a business trip that week, I'm sure Laurel is going to have a lot of interesting things to say!


Blogger Mal said...

I just checked on imdb because it sounded awfully a lot like "the class", the movie that won at cannes.

and yeah. that's what it is... i wanna see it!

October 1, 2008 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger misplaced texan said...

I really want to check the movie out, but without English subtitles, I'm afraid I'll be way lost. I checked Mk2 and they have showings with French subtitles, so maybe after I start my classes, I'll go see a showing for homework. ;)

October 1, 2008 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger dveillon22 said...


I haven't seen the film yet , but I'm going to go a soon as it comes out here !
I am an English teacher in The French system. I've been teaching in a secondary school (collège) for the past seven years in Brittany, where I have lived. for eighteen years.
I feel very lucky to work where I work! I love it.. I look forward to going to work everyday and I feel lucky to live in a country where education and a high level of education at that, is considered to be important. Every system has it's failures there are always some bad teachers or inefficient administrators to deal with but in general I'm very happy here. I passed the written exam of the Capes two years ago while working full time .. on my first try, and got a 19/20 on the oral part of the exam. I am American and I speak with an American accent.
I'm not a genius and I spent hardly anytime preparing.... and I don't think I got lucky! I just think that the closed-minded French inspectors are evolving and the new European framework has made some very important changes to the French programs for language teaching. Now is the time to try for a Capes/Cafep !I It makes a big difference in pay - I was "contractuelle" before and now I make almost 400€ a month more! Aside from the pay benefits you have a great amount of job security. I happen to work in an associative Breton-medium school that is neither public nor private. We are run by a non-profit, non-denominational association. I had to pass the Cafep which is the equivalent of the Capes but for private schools and now I am guaranteed a job for life! I work 20 hours a week at school which is a full time position and I work another ten hours or so at home.
I went to some very high quality public schools in the United-States (Lake-Forest Highschool in Illinois "entre-autres") but I didn't receive an education that matches the French system. I never had a single Geography lesson !!
Thanks for the compelling reading ... I've been following your story for the past two years!


October 1, 2008 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Alisa said...

it's only coming out now in english? that's so weird, i swear when i read yuri's copy it said 'traduit de l'américain' inside the cover.
anyway, too bad you're going to miss the opening! but tunisia will be awesome, i bet :)

October 1, 2008 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

We saw Entre les murs this past weekend and, personally, I thought the book it's based on was better. I'm still not sure why it won at Cannes, but it's still a very good semi-documentary. I kept going, hey, "my" kids at my volunteer job are exactly like that; their teachers, too. I'm willing to bet that for anyone involved in ZEP schooling and/or schooling in immigrant communities around the collège-range will really identify with the movie. I still say, go look for the book.

October 1, 2008 at 9:16 PM  

I think I will go see it then.. I LOVED "Dangerous Minds." I taught high school for 5 years... So, I am sure I can relate... Thanks for the recommendation!

October 1, 2008 at 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay the book is being released! I've been wanting to read this for ages! Great news!

October 2, 2008 at 7:34 AM  

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