Emeline and her husband moved to the South Bay from France a little over 6 years ago. They have a 6-year-old daughter, Eleanor, who was born here shortly after their arrival. Emeline has worked for 10 years as a school teacher in France and has now been working for 3 years as a French Pre-K teacher in a French-American school. She is also the creator of Sew Francisco a brand of handmade baby items.
I really like my work, being a pre-K teacher is great for me because even if I have a curriculum to follow, given by the French Department of Education, I still have a lot of freedom on how I implement it, compared to elementary teachers. I can really express my creativity and do big projects with the kids.
But this year has been difficult for me so far because it’s my first year working full-time. Since living in California I only worked part-time and it has been a complicated shift for me. It’s a challenge to find the right routine and I feel I don’t have nearly enough time for my family and my friends. At my school, working part-time means working 20 hours, split between 2 ½ days and full-time is 30 hours, split between 5 days. So I feel the difference in salary is not worth the time that I need to block in my week.
Because of that, I had to put my little business, Sew Francisco, on hold and I am really sad about it. I use my weekends and evenings to sew some orders but I don’t advertise my brand anymore because I don’t have enough time. I think I will finish the school year like that but I am already thinking about next year. I plan on going back to being a part-time French teacher and I would like to open a physical store with some friends and offer classes like sewing for both adults and kids. I love teaching and crafts so it would be the perfect combination for me.
Once a week I have a 2 ½ hours lunch break so I use this time to exercise at a gym very close to my work. I also go there one evening per week for a zumba class. I usually go to the gym with a friend to keep me motivated.
After school, we go straight to her activity of the day. She takes ballet lessons at Dance Academy USA in Cupertino on Mondays, on Tuesdays, she has gymnastics with Sunnyvale Community Center, on Thursdays, she has tap/jazz lessons at her dance school, and on Fridays, she has art lessons with Marvegos in Los Gatos. We chose sports activities because as I said, she needs it but with my husband we wanted her to have at least one creative activity so we chose the art class and she loves it, like me, she is very creative.
On Wednesdays we will either go to the park or go home to play.
During Eleanor’s activity I usually give private tutoring classes twice a week.
Once home my daughter will take her shower and play for a little bit. She doesn’t have homework yet except reading for about 20 minutes each day, she usually does that at bedtime. During the weekend we work together on her French, we use a workbook that I bought in France and we try to do one page of French, one page of math, and one page of science each week.
During the first part of the evening we will often watch a movie or TV show with my husband.