Sylvie, Schleithal, France
I went to school from 1980 to 1997. I spent eight years in the primary school in Roppenheim, then I went to “collège” (Middle School) for four years in Soufflenheim and then to the Lycée (High School) in Haguenau, about 25km away from home.
Our school days were from 8 am – 11.30 am and then again from 1.30 pm to 4 pm. We did not have school on Wednesdays but Saturday mornings. In the collège and the Lycée, school started at 8 am. I was back home by about 6 pm, Mondays to Fridays. Our class sizes were around 20 in the primary school. Later we were about 30 per class.
Lessons lasted about 2 hours per subject, and in primary school, we had French, German, Sports, Maths, Religion, Geography and Physics. In middle and high school, we also had Economics, Biology, Chemistry, English, French literature. During the last year of school, Philosophy.
Our teachers did the lesson on the blackboard and then asked the class questions to check if somebody did not understand anything. On some days, we had to do a surprise task. The results went to our overall grades. Naturally, we hated this because we could not prepare and often the results were bad.
Education here in France is very theoretical. I do not think this is good preparation for the future. I think the system in Germany is better. While most of our teachers were humane and OK, some did not understand our problems. We had different teachers for different subjects. I remember, our Economics teacher was like a friend to us. He often met the class outside the classroom; that made the lessons easier.
Today, kids are much more connected, and I think teachers demand much more than when we went to school. The subjects have become more difficult. I cannot help my daughter with her schoolwork, and I would not have the patience to go back to school. I am happy that I learn every day.