Voulez-Vous Parler Francais Avec Moi? – Madame Graves

Voulez-Vous Parler Francais Avec Moi? – Madame Graves

“Ici, on parle francais.”  (“Here, we speak French. “)

That is the motto in M127, the domain of Madame Graves, the newest addition to both North Point’s World Language Department and its two person French team. Graves most recently taught at Reservoir High School in Howard County, but the move to North Point was her chance to “come home” after previously teaching in Charles County for fourteen years.

Graves’ first taste of the French language came during an event that exposes millions of other people around the world to it: the Olympic Games. “It was the beauty of the language that drew me to it,” she reminisced. In college at the University of Carolina Charlotte, Graves became a French major. Why did Graves decide to teach? “I realized that I cared very much about education and that I have the resources to [teach],” she said.

Previously, Graves taught at John Hanson Middle School and La Plata High School. When the commute up to Howard County became too much to bear, Graves snagged a position at North Point. Overall, she is positive about the changes she has had to adjust to here. “This is my first time in a school with a block schedule, STI programs, and definitely with NEST. I like it all,” she noted. “I’m impressed with the way things are run here.”

In the classroom, Graves said “I do my best to make it interesting.” Graves is also a foodie, having previously owned the Town Mouse Deli and Café in La Plata. Now, she incorporates her loves of food and French into the classroom. “The French attitude toward food is good,” she noted with a smile.

The day that his French III class made crepes, a sweet or savory staple of France’s cuisine, was Gabriel Huffman’s (’15) favorite lesson in Madame Graves’ classroom. “She’s a very kind teacher, and she makes sure to spend plenty of time explaining things,” he said.

“She’s taught all levels and she enjoys working with lots of different students,” said Madame McLaughlin, Grave’s counterpart and head of the World Language Department. “I am so excited to have her here because she’s a really good fit for our foreign language department.”

One inescapable debate centered around the foreign language curriculum is the age old battle of the Romance languages:  French versus Spanish.  Graves was careful to remain even handed while defending French. “Both languages have their usefulness. Spanish has had a growing usefulness in the past ten to fifteen years, but I don’t think that the French language’s usefulness has declined any,” she said. Graves went on to note that French is best for anyone wishing to travel or work with people based in Europe, Canada, Africa, and Asia. “That’s a pretty big chunk of the world.”