French Teacher Trend Does Not Faze Program


The French teacher position at RHS has become reminiscent of the Dark Arts job from the Harry Potter novel series. For the past five years, a new French teacher has taken the position as if it was tradition for French teachers to leave RHS at the end of each school year.
A noticeable factor that has contributed to the recent departures has been offers for full-time positions at other schools. Former teachers Elizabeth Schneider-Jefferson and Lois Laclef both left for this reason.
Laclef specifically left for the higher position of resource teacher at Winston Churchill HS and Schneider-Jefferson teaches French at Paint Branch HS.
French teacher Sani Adamou is currently the only French teacher and must teach levels one through six. He is quite experienced, having taught French at the University of Texas. This is his second year teaching here, and he plans to stay.
According to RHS foreign language resource teacher Elyse Seitz, the problem is not the French program itself but the lack of students in it. “We can better retain teachers with a larger program,” Seitz said, “If I could grow the program we could have part time teachers teaching different sections of the lower levels and have Mr. Adamou focus on the higher levels.”
The trend of new faces in this department has caused an inconsistency in the curriculum which may lead to difficulties as students progress through the French program. This is apparent for students like senior Greata Etey-Benissan, who has had a new french teacher every year.
“It’s hard to adjust to a new teaching style each year especially when you have gotten so used to the previous teacher,” Etey-Benissan said. She has taken five years of French and currently takes French six.
Adamou plans to create cohesion within the program and make the transition from one level of French to another smoother, with a new solid foundation embedded in the program.
“What we are doing is building up a system that students will quickly identify and feel comfortable with,” Adamou said, “Each year we will replicate the system and maintain consistency throughout.”