|Joyeux Noël !|
OOPS... Sounds right when I'm writing it, but I guess by the time you read this, it will be too late to wish you a "Merry Christmas"! Well, at least I can wish you "Bonne Année": it's never too late for that one.
Let me take this opportunity to apologize for the long time it takes for these articles to be published : you see, before I send one, I have to wait for the pictures from both schools to be taken and developed. So, don't blame the publisher, s'il vous plait. Merci!
Well, here I am, at the end of November...I remember. a wonderful performance of a band who bears the right name: Pride of the Delta! I remember...some crazy singing vegetables who entertained my fourth-graders in French. I remember...honoring Nicholaus Herrington, a smart fifth-grader in BVHS, big smile, and Maurice Lobrano, a cheerful, excellent sixth-grade French student in BMS.
NOVEMBER STUDENT OF MONTH--Pictured above is Nicholaus Herrington, French Student of the Month of November.
Of course, you know that if they were named "Student of the Month", it's because they really are excellent! Oh, by the way: sorry for the clown next to Maurice on the picture: the photographer forced me into it.
Contest: Again...he did it again... it took him more research this time, but he got it: Kevin Louviere, a happy fifth grader now, gave me the answer: "La plaquemine est un fruit délicieux" means "the persimmon is a delicious fruit".
Try to beat him
on these: "Le Grenier de Jérôme" (from last month, no answer at this time),
and a new one: "La Fierté du Delta est une excellente fanfare". No need to be
a rocket scientist to tell me what they mean and win 100 fb (French class reward
money) for each of them! I know that you know...Just prove it! See you soon!
FRENCH STUDENT OF MONTH-Pictured above are French teacher Mr. Pierre and Maurice Lobrano, Student of Month.
Bonjour a tous! That's how I started a great day, December 7, as The Quizmaster in Baton Rouge. Hundreds of High School French students were having three days of fun, and competition, too. I was responsible for the cultural contest, and was amazed by the level of the 15 candidates! They could answer most questions, including some that would have left me mute! "Bravo!" for them, double "bravo!" for those who won scholarships in Belgium, France and Quebec. "Bravo!" also to Pride of the Delta band, who recently added a great look to their great sound! And "Bravo!" to my fifth graders in Boothville-Venice High School, who broke all records of achievement in French during the second nine-weeks, with a 93% class average!
Other excellent news: sixth and seventh graders in Boothville-Venice High School asked so much for a French class that we worked around the schedule problems. We squeezed 30 minutes of French (an elective class) for the whole second semester! I am really happy about this, it will be a lot of extra work, but they definitely deserve it!
All right, I know what you really want from me: the Students of the Month for December!
The Great Ones are Joey Rojas, a very surprising, happy, nice, smiling fifth grader in Boothville-Venice High School and Kristina Dragobratovich, one of my numerous excellent students in Buras Middle School, who obviously loves everything about the French class (besides having her picture taken).
Contest: Three chances to win 100 fb (French class reward money) by telling me what these mean: "Le Grenier de Jérôme" or "La Fierté du Delta est une excellente fanfare" (no answer at this time), and a new one: "J'aime beaucoup la Paroisse de Plaquemines".
PARLEZ-VOUS ? OUI !
Pictured above is French student Kevin Louviere, the "Elève Du Mois" or "Student of the Month" for January at Boothville-Venice High School.
Pictured below is Kasey Lindow, who received the same award at Buras Middle School.
These recognitions were given to these students by French teacher, Pierre Gieling, who teaches French at both schools.
Kevin and Kasey.
( The following was not published ) :
Salut! Comment allez-vous? I'm doing great! "Janvier" was a great month in French Class. I began a new booklet with the 4th graders, and I have already 9 graded works after only three weeks! They did well! One of these was a detective job, for which 12 outstanding students have received their own, personalized French detective card... The 5th graders continued to discover Cédric and Mordicus' crazy dream about flying in outer space, and I had the pleasure to have my 6th and 7th graders back into business ! Serious business they have courageously chosen to take as an extra to their education! Many, many thanks to Mrs. Duncan, Mrs. Roberts, Mrs. Condry and all the Junior High teachers (and students!) for their support.
In Buras Middle,
some 6" graders joined the great and obstinate students I already had, while the
7th and 8th graders keep going, and going, and... onto the path of French mastery.
Should I say it? Keep...going! To ease the end of such a busy month, I rewarded
all my classes with the movie in French of their choice. No, this is not recess!
It is just another very powerful way of learning, particularly adapted to times
where students get tired (and we all know that happens, sometimes...).
CONCOURS! ( "Contest!" ) "Le Grenier de Jerome" was correctly translated by Michelle Robichaux as "Jérôme's attic" (our Halloween activity). She was awarded 100 fb (French class reward money). You can get the same by telling me what these mean: "La Fierté du Delta est une excellente fanfare" or "J'aime beaucoup la Paroisse de Plaquemines" (no answer at this time), and a new, easy one: "Bonjour a tous les Cajuns!".
Yours, always: Mr. Pierre.
|Bonjour! Ready for February's
Students of the Month and some news? After a so-early Mardi Gras, it was time
to rock'n roll in fourth grade: the numbers' rock'n roll! Do you know any nicer
way to begin learning numbers in French? I don't. |
Parents didn't rock (well, if they did, I didn't see them), but came in numbers to our second Conference Day. Fifth graders are again blowing up all records with an average score of 95%, while sixth, seventh and eighth graders in Buras Middle continue to show how exceptional they are.
Now, give me a few lines for my dear Junior High class in Boothville-Venice. They deserve your highest consideration: do you know many sixth or seventh graders who would willfully get out of their regular class to go take another, optional subject at 8 in the morning, knowing they will have to work in that one and to make up for what they missed in the regular one? And actually manage to have good grades in both? I know nine of them: Nina, Kirk, Kory, David, Kenny, Brian, James, Oriel and Michael. It seems that we have a fine example here of what "smart, not nerd" means.
Two other students stand out: the February Students of the Month: Royce Billiot, a happy fourth grader in Boothville Venice High School, who probably did not lose one word of what I taught so far.
| And John Chambers,
whom I've seen growing up into a mature eighth grader and great student in Buras
Middle School. |
That said, do you realize that there will be only two more pairs nominated before I announce the "Students of the Year'"? And that this will be my last article in this paper, after four years as a French teacher here? It scares me, sometimes. Time goes by so fast! I may come back later, though I love it here!
Concours! (contest): "Le Grenier de Jérôme" was correctly translated by Michelle Robichaux as "Jerome's attic" (our Halloween activity). Destinee Prout, a fifth grader in Boothville Venice High School, gave the correct translation of "La Fierté du Delta est une excellent fanfare". "The Pride Of The Delta is an excellent band." The whole truth! So, Kevin Louviere did not get the 100 fb (French class reward money) this time, he came about 3 seconds too late.
Work on these now: "J'aime beaucoup la Paroisse de Plaquemines", "Bonjour a tous les Cajuns!" or a new one: "Mes élèves sont géniaux".
Mars & avril 1997
|Bonjour! I hope you will excuse
me if I combine the March and April's Students of the Month in one article. It's
not that they are less good (au contraire, mon cher!) but because it's so late
in the year already. In March, fourth graders continued to "rock the numbers"
and then took a solid 9-weeks exam, before a well-deserved spring break. In April,
fifth graders finished their program before everybody and got to... No, not to
relax and get an early vacation: they "won" the right to learn more! I know, I'm
The only big problem I have right now (as for every year is the students thinking the school year is over April 15. It becomes difficult to teach now, and a lot of class time is wasted. Why do they feel this way? All of us are role models to them, and maybe, somehow, we give that feeling. Let's think about that, it's really a major issue in education here. School ends May 29, not one day before. Actually, one day later for us teachers!
"D'accord, les voila ...": the excellent Students of the Month in March,
I carefully chose for their numerous merits. Brian Graham, one of those junior
high volunteer super-students in BVHS, as great as he was in fourth grade, just
(a lot) taller and smarter, of course. In BMS, an "awaken" seventh grader Dixie
Mina, who did good before doing great! |
"Pour Avril" (for April): the extra wonderful ones are... not shy anymore, Haley Swain (fifth grade in BVHS) who definitely knows French, well! And nonetheless, Taryn Jackson, a smart and smiley sixth grader in BMS, who does not only have fun and good grades in French: she also learns...a lot!
Is it necessary to mention that Kevin Louviere won the contest again
by translating "Bonjour a tous les Cajuns" with "Hello (greetings) to all the
Cajuns"? No, of course, you knew he would get the 100 belgian francs...well, anyway
I like to recognize exceptional talent, so: Bravo Kevin!
|Oui! Oui! Oui! ("Yes, yes, yes!")
It's THE event of the year again, for all students learning French with monsieur
Pierre: the "Students of the Year"! Too bad, there was not much suspense this
The two students I wanted to acclaim for their motivation, participation, improvement, curiosity, active involvement and French Class spirit know how good they are. And so do their classmates, as I heard.
But making the final decision is always a big headache: who? It is heart-breaking to have to choose among students who, for most of them, did the tremendous job of learning, step by step, a second language and some bids of another culture. Well, the two super-honored ones are...
Louviere (a.k.a. "Chasseur de serpents") now a 5th grader in Boothville-Venice,
who already had that honor last year (and many, many others). Even though he still
denies wearing a pink outfit once in a while, he keeps going and going, and going...Bunny
chasers, beware; you better learn French if you want to catch him. His new feature
this year, the "Powercheck", always says "100% left"...continue Kevin, tu es le
Oh non...Non! Non! (Oh, no.."). Time flies. It's time for me to say "Au revoir"
(goodbye) and hit the road again (actually in my case, the sky!). I do not really
have a choice: there is a 4 year limit to our stay in the United States as Foreign
Associate Teachers. Changing status is way too problematic and costly, so I better
leave for at least two years, and come back later with same status. If I get that
chance again, I will most probably ask for Plaquemines Parish, as I did in 1993.
You think I'm crazy? Maybe. But I have loved living and teaching here. I loved
the place, the people, the tremendous job we can do here as teachers, the students
(who can forget about the crazy world they live in when we give them that chance),
and the food (the best meat and seafood I ever had made me almost forget my cravings
for belgian chocolates and cheeses). I felt useful (I hope I'm right), and learned
a lot, thanks to many people here.
I am sad to leave. But I am looking forward to the new experiences, discoveries and friends I will make wherever I end up next year. I will try to keep in touch and let you know.
care, I will not forget you.