Ariel Barbee, Robert Petrie and Maura Quinn (all graduates of the 2021 class) will reside in mainland France for seven months while they teach English to French students at primary and secondary levels.
French teacher Devan Baty says it’s rare for a Cornell graduate to have this opportunity with the Teaching Assistant in France (TAPIF) program, let alone Cornell College to send three graduates. TAPIF is a highly selective French government sponsored program that offers teaching positions to US citizens.
Barbee, Petrie and Quinn will gain valuable teaching experience and expand their professional networks. In addition, all three will be eligible for graduate scholarships in France and the United States.
Barbee moves from Chicago to Cornell in France
Barbee, who considers the Chicago suburbs his hometown, earned a double major in French and English and creative writing while earning a minor in gender studies at Cornell. She will teach middle and high school students at the Academy of Amiens, a school district region in northern France. With the changing COVID-19 landscape, Barbee is still waiting to see if she will teach online, in person, or in combination. Regardless, she is delighted to be heading to France in October when her post begins.
“The experiential learning offered by the Cornell French program is truly invaluable,” says Barbee. “I wasn’t just studying textbooks; I went out into the community, volunteered, traveled, and really talked to people. I did it first started English tutoring at the Catherine McAuley Center and I realized that I liked teaching English. I flew for the first time and went to another country at Devan’s [Professor Baty’s] Martinique courses. It was during one of our wonderful counselor / counselor interviews that I first heard about TAPIF through [Professor of French] Rebecca [Wines]! »
This opportunity is even more meaningful, if at all possible, for Barbee precisely because COVID-19 disrupted some of the plans she had over the past year.
“I also felt very relieved to know exactly what I would do after graduation and to be able to travel! My dream was to travel more, and while I am very grateful to be safe and healthy (and vaccinated now!), The pandemic has definitely disrupted much of my academic and future plans that I had worked on. before, ”says Barbee. “This is why I was so ecstatic and very grateful to have had this opportunity to work at TAPIF!”
Petrie thrilled to make up for lost time with a cultural immersion
Petrie is originally from Minneapolis and specializes in anthropologie while winning three minors in French, Russian, and studio art at Cornell College. He will teach primary school students in the south of France and is delighted to be tackle more immersive experiences in France, especially since COVID-19 had derailed some of its previous plans to spend last spring and summer in France. He also says he’s excited to gain more experience in a classroom setting as he sees teaching as a possible career path.
“The opportunities that I have had thanks to Cornell Off-Campus Study Programs helped me put into practice all the skills I learned in language classes and anthropology studies, ”says Petrie. “I was able to spend my whole first year abroad and feel much better able to return to France as a worker who had already lived there as a student.”
Quinn’s amazing journey into the French language
Quinn came to Cornell College in Rome, Georgia and earned a double major in medieval and modern studies and the history and culture of music. She was the principal class chairwoman in the Student Senate and was elected to the country’s most prestigious honor society, Phi Beta Kappa. She will be at the Académie de Rouen, in Normandy. She expects to teach in person, barring unforeseen changes with the state of the pandemic. She can’t wait to improve her French and see life from a different global perspective.
“Take a language course on the block plan it’s kinda weird because i learned a lot in a very short time, ”she says. “I took four semesters of French, 101-205, in six months; I hadn’t studied French before coming to Cornell and often felt like I didn’t understand it at the time. But as I continued to practice without taking a French course, I realized that I knew a lot more than I expected, such as when I could recognize a conjugation by reading French sources for another course.
Quinn thanks Professors Baty and Rebecca Wines for preparing her for this opportunity. She says she had not studied French before Cornell and with the continued support inside and outside the classroom from her French teachers, she has made giant strides in her progression in the language. .
“It is a great honor that even one of our graduates is accepted;” says Baty, “Having three is an unprecedented achievement that reflects the high caliber of our students at Cornell College. Well done and good luck, Ariel, Maura and Robert! “