Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Today I received two very exciting emails, both from Carolyn, the contact person for all American assistants.

The first was a response to an email that I had sent last week.  I had been hearing from other assistants (through a TAPIF group on Facebook) that you could find out information about your contract if you emailed Carolyn.  I hesitated at first, afraid that it would be obnoxious of me to do this.  From the beginning, we have been told that this process is very long and we won't find out much information until later in the summer.  How frustrating would it be to get 1500 emails from American assistants trying to find out information because they just can't wait?  But my curiosity got the best of me, and in all honesty, it wasn't so bad.  In her response that I received today, she informed me that I have a 7 month contract teaching elementary school kids.

This is exciting, although not surprising.  I have heard that this year they have phased out the 9 month contract (why they still included it as an option on the application is a mystery to me).  But at least I know for sure now that my contract will go through April 30, 2012.  On the other hand, I am VERY relieved to know that I will be teaching elementary school students.  Honestly, I would be terrified if I had to teach high school.  I don't know why, but I feel like younger kids will be easier for me to manage in a classroom.  More on that to come.

The second email was a general message to all American assistants.  Attached was the Assistant Handbook, which I have been anxiously waiting for.  It includes a ton of information you need to know about the process, including visa info, housing, paperwork, etc.  I had taken a peek at last year's handbook, but I am pretty excited to have up-to-date information.  I can't wait to go home, print it off, and really dive in!

However, the second email confirmed what I already knew... The next few months, all I can do is sit and wait.  As far as I know, the next step is receiving my arrĂȘtĂ© de nomination, my work contract, from Martinique.  This could come anytime between June and mid-August.  No problem, I love waiting for important documents to come last minute and then having to rush to get everything else worked out.  Ah, bureaucracy.