It's been a while since I described the way that the program works and what my work was that year, but I'll sum it up here: I worked as an assistant to the twelve English teachers in our department. They were the real teachers, but for one hour a week, I went to each teacher to assist in some way. (Yes, I worked only twelve hours a week.) I generally pulled small groups of students out to engage them in English conversation. So, I had the privilege of working with twelve different teachers in a foreign education system. As a teacher, this was such a valuable experience: I got to not only witness a completely different school system, but twelve different teaching styles, as well. I'm so thankful to this group of ladies, from whom I learned so much that year. It was such an invaluable opportunity, and I don't take it for granted.
After talking to my friends/fellow assistants throughout the year, I realized that I was actually exceptionally lucky. Not everyone had my same experience. My colleagues were not only professionally considerate (they communicated with me well AND they arranged my schedule so I had Fridays off all year!) but they were genuinely warm and friendly. They invited me to eat lunch with them, to come to dinner at their homes, and even to spend weekends with them. I loved meeting their families and getting even more opportunities to meet people, speak French, and better understand French culture.