Teacher in France: 'Great to get back to school despite Covid rules'

An English teacher at a French secondary school says she feels prepared for la rentrée next week and the new system of Covid-related rules that will come into effect

26 August 2021
Roxanne Klumpp

Roxanne Klumpp, an English teacher in France, is happy to be able to teach in person when schools re-open in September Pic: Supplied by interviewee

By Thomas Brent

A teacher in a French secondary school has said that she is ready to get back to teaching in person when schools go back on September 2, despite various new rules and restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Roxanne Klumpp is an English teacher at the Collège Camille Claudel in Marignier (Haute-Savoie) and said that she is happy that she will get to teach in person from next week. 

France’s Education Ministry announced in July that a four-level system will be used for the coming academic year with different rules for mask-wearing, playing sports and social distancing at each level. 

Schools will be placed on different levels according to the health situation nationally.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on August 22 that schools would go back on a level 2, or yellow, rating meaning classes will be taught in person for all school levels. 

“I don’t feel particularly stressed about la rentrée because I think we have got used to wearing face masks, social distancing, and distributing hand sanitiser,” Ms Klumpp said. 

She said she herself was feeling prepared, but that she had not been given much information by her school on the new rules that will come into effect from next week. 

“The rule seems to be ‘‘deal with it on your own’,” she said.

“That’s what happened last year when we had to go into lockdown. We had to face it and no one told us anything, and we just adapted.

“If there is another lockdown this year, I think I will be able to deal with it and teach online.

“It will be okay, but obviously it is not very convenient for the pupils because English is a language and it should be taught in real life.

“Giving pupils exercises and teaching over Zoom is not ideal.

“From the pupils’ point of view, they want to be taught in person and remote learning just kills their motivation and they feel excluded in a way.

“They miss the bond with their classmates.”

She said that despite not being fully up to speed with the new rules, she is not concerned.

“I hope la rentrée will be useful and we will get information then, as we go back to school one day before the pupils.

“I’m not worried in any case because we have been dealing with Covid for almost two years now and we just have to live with it. It is better if we face it positively rather than negatively and complain all the time. 

“We have solutions now, there are vaccines. We will adapt. I just want to get on with it and do my job.”

Read our back to school guide to Covid-19 rules for parents and pupils here.

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