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Is there anyone living in or around Paris and commuting in?

(8 Posts)
lavenderbongo Thu 25-Sep-08 08:25:15

My DH is applying for a job based in Paris and if he is successful this would mean moving our two dds to France. They are 4 and 18 months.

We have been living in Brussels for just over a year and found being an expat here fairly easy but I am a bit worried that France might be a bit different and I might become a bit isolated.

My french is not very good but my dd is in the local maternell and will probably end up speaking better french than me.

Does anyone have any advice on moving to france and what it might be like?

Any advice would be gratefully recieved.

Also should add i would ideally like to go back to work and I am a secondary teacher - is there any chance this would be possible?

AuldAlliance Thu 25-Sep-08 09:02:21

I can't help with questions about Paris and commuting.
As far as teaching goes, what subject do you teach? To get a post in a state secondary, you currently need to sit a competitive, national exam (CAPES) in your specific subject area, as teachers are still civil servants here, employed and paid by the state. The CAPES is a fairly academic, subject-based exam, with a spot of jargon-rich didactique thrown in. If you pass, you then do a year's traineeship in a school, with classes in an IUFM (teacher training institute), and at the end of that year you 'apply' to teach in a specific area and school. However, teachers starting out after the CAPES are generally posted to the banlieues of Paris, which could be an advantage if you want to live around Paris, or hell on earth if you end up in a difficult school. You could also end up in some other part of the country (often first-time teachers start out in Lille, the North, often places where people are not necessarily dying to teach/live - no offence meant to those living in those areas.)

Sarko has decided to change the way teachers are recruited, but unfortunately it hasn't been thought through properly or spelled out to those involved in teacher training, even though the changes are meant to be implemented in Sept 2009. As of then, people wishing to become teachers will need to take a Master's in education, plus a revised form of the CAPES. Theoretically, if you have a PGCE, you should as a European national be able to teach, but in reality I suspect that you might be given an équivalence for part of the Master's, but you'd still have to take the new CAPES in order to get civil servant status. Such details hmm have yet to be ironed out, like almost all of the practical organisation of Sarko's little plan.
Teaching in the private sector is much more ad hoc, and you could be taken on without a French teaching qualification. In the state sector, you could also do some hours of teaching here and there as a "contractuel", but the pay is even more depressing than that of fully-fledged teachers, since it's an hourly rate.
Not sure that's very clear, it's all a bit complicated to explain in a few lines. Feel free to ask any questions you like...

AuldAlliance Thu 25-Sep-08 09:03:51

Just re-read your post: if your French is weak, that might well be a serious obstacle to being taken on as a teacher, unless you managed to find a private, English-language school.

lavenderbongo Thu 25-Sep-08 10:18:31

Thanks for your help AuldAlliance - I should have been more specific but I was looking for opportunities in any international or english school in Paris. In Brussels there are loads of international schools that need english speaking teachers but I know next to nothing about Paris. I am a geography teacher - not exactly an in demand subject.

Othersideofthechannel Thu 25-Sep-08 12:00:01

AA, your post wasn't in vain. I have been considering doing the CAPES for a while so was interested to read about the upcoming changes.
Glad to hear that the north is still unpopular. Increases my chances of finding employment near home grin

AuldAlliance Thu 25-Sep-08 17:02:46

OSOTC, the exact changes are still uncertain; I am in charge of the English CAPES at my university and still have no official details, which is all the more outrageous as they are probably going to ask us to produce intricately detailed plans for the Master's courses before Christmas. Sarko's ratings amongst uni staff were never great, but they are plummeting daily, as we have no idea what's going on and have to reassure the students currently preparing the concours as best we can.
According to some docs I've seen, new teachers will be posted ^plus en adequation avec leurs souhaits^ or some such formula. TBH, many of my colleagues think we're heading towards delocalised recruitment of teachers, which means the new recruits, if they are fonctionnaires at all, won't be ^fonctionnaires d'état^ but ^fonctionnaires territoriaux^ a less advantageous status, particularly as regards pay and retirement. God knows how all those poor folk who have been stuck in a ZEP for years, slowly accumulating to points to move somewhere else, are going to feel if the system suddenly changes and they find they really are stuck! Maybe the new system will work out in your favour, though.
<<why do some of my italics work and not others??hmm>>

biscotte Fri 31-Oct-08 12:09:28

this may be too late by now but yes, there are several anglophones in and around paris (English, American and international) and also loads of bilingual schools that have some lessons in English. Staff turn over in the snglophone schools is fairly high I beleive so there are quite often openings.

BriocheDoree Fri 31-Oct-08 12:50:17

It's usually easy to find work in an English school - turnover is quite high as often people are only here for 2 or 3 years before moving on. However, from talking to friends, it's often part-time and not that well paid...There's quite a few English/International schools in central Paris and western suburbs, but fewer to the East, apparently.
Commuting is better around here than it is in London, for example, although I don't know about Brussels. If you are going to live out, try to be on an RER line rather than SNCF as they tend to have a better service.
There is a huge anglo community in and around Paris and it should be easy enough to meet people, even more so if your kids go to local maternelle.

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