By Andrea Martin, Upper School French and English
We're moving through the start of another school year, another fall when the weather is finally – just a little bit – starting to turn cool, and that means another season of college applications for our Bullis seniors.
Some teachers may disagree, but I actually really love writing college recommendations. It's a chance to reflect on all that our students have learned and how they have grown over their time at Bullis. In writing their letters, I also often find myself reflecting on my own growth as a teacher, sparked by my students' interests and needs.
This year, I had lunch with each of my seniors before finishing their letters. It was so nice to take 30 minutes to speak with each of them and hear about their classes, their motivations, and their goals for the future. After eating with each of them, I was struck by just how diverse and unique our students are. They have lofty goals, including starting a hospital and becoming CEO of a major corporation. But they also hope to help others, whether through service or study abroad.
As I reflected on their growth, I was also struck by how much our French program at Bullis has truly grown up with our seniors. I began teaching many of them as freshmen in French I or II. Back in the fall of 2014, there were just five sections of French at Bullis – one for each level in the Upper School – and I was the only French teacher. Since then, we have grown to 11 sections of French in both the Middle and Upper Schools this year, taught by myself and my dedicated, experienced colleague Eric Métée. My determination to make sure that all of my students love French (or at least love using it in my classes) coupled with Eric's unbridled enthusiasm and energy have sparked a passion for French in many of our students.
The French Exchange that we began last year with Lycée Saint Joseph in Toulouse has also inspired many of our students to learn about the world beyond Bullis and use French beyond our classroom walls. More about this year's Exchange in a future post!
Though our work is far from over, and students won't hear from most of their colleges until the spring, I'm so proud of how far we've come together!