Je m'appelle Madame Combe, but some of you or your siblings may know me by my maiden name of Mademoiselle Smith. This is my 11th year teaching Middle School French, and I am looking forward to a great year teaching 6th, 7th and 8th grade! I am originally from Pennsylvania, but love living and teaching in NJ. One day I would love to move back to France with my husband- maybe when we retire! (I am still trying to get my husband to agree to this-who wouldn't want to eat amazing, buttery croissants and delicious French food year-round?!)
My alma mater is Penn State. We are! While at PSU, I triple majored in French and Francophone Studies, World Language Education and International Studies. I also attended Rutgers University, receiving a Masters of Art degree in French teaching. While in school, I studied abroad and lived in Montpellier, a town in southern France. There I attended Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III, a liberal arts university. While studying abroad, I was able to travel throughout Europe! In high school, I had the opportunity to travel abroad to Francophone destinations on two occasions. These experiences helped shaped my world view and fostered a love and passion for world travel which I love sharing with my students. So far I have traveled with students to France, Iceland, and now Quebec!
I believe that communicative competence in a foreign language is the most essential part of language class! Therefore, we will focus a lot on speaking skills. I want my students to take risks, and learn that it is ok to make mistakes. My theme of the year is all about EFFORT! Every student is capable of putting forth an equal amount of effort, regardless of their background or skill level. Effort and success have a direct correlation, so it is important for students to know what making an effort looks like in a language class. While speaking a foreign language can be scary at times, I want students to know that my classroom is a place where they can feel safe and comfortable. I strive to maintain a positive learning environment and to build a close community of learners within our classroom walls.
School and Community
At school, I currently run a French club for students. Anyone is welcome to join. In addition to this, I offer a language immersion trip to Quebec, Canada every other year. This opportunity is available to students enrolled in French at CMS. I also run a ski club with Mr. Clayton which is sponsored through the YMCA. I love snowboarding! This club is currently open to 7th and 8th graders.
Madame Combe in Patagonia, Argentina at Perito Moreno Glaciar