The Lycée Times Newsfeed

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The end of an Educational Era

A letter from The Editor

Dear Readers,

I set up The Lycée Times in March 2009 with one, simple objective – to help me, the Editor, practice writing articles. However, sadly I couldn’t; I have found that there’s just not enough news in the French education system to write about on a weekly basis. Therefore, I found myself running out of ideas for articles and posts, and recently, as you may have observed, I have resorted to re-posting articles from ex-pat newspapers. It is for this reason, that I have decided to cease publishing on this blog. I have realised that I have come to the end of an inspirational road, that has lead me to realise what a powerful and useful tool the internet is, and how you can use it to help others.

The Lycée Times will not just die. This blog will stay live so it can continue to help ex-pats in the future and I have decided to let this blog become user-generated. By this, I mean that you can send in your own articles and get them published here, under your name (if you wish). Your articles will help future ex-pats and those already living in France. I know it helps because I’ve experienced it first-hand on both sides of the fence, both as the reader and as the writer! It was the useful articles that I found when doing research on French education before moving over, that inspired me to help others but going from a single site or blog where you can find every bit of information you want. Now that I’ve done it, and while I was writing it, I received many thank you emails from people in appreciation of my work. It feels great to give something back. No matter how simple or complicated the topic you want to write about is, there’s always at least one person out there who doesn’t understand it and needs your help. It’s also great writing practice and it doesn’t require a superhuman effort, so go for it! Submit your article! For more details, see the bottom of this post.

I found it very hard to organise interviews and be able to fit them in with school hours. I ended up just explaining the education system and not actually writing articles. Any news that came up, like the release of the dates for the baccalauréat, seemed more like a sort of ‘update’ than an article. Sure, it’s useful to many people, but it’s not what I wanted. I’m going into my last year of Lycée in September and seeing how much work it has been, keeping this blog running, while studying for the Bac, I just don’t feel it’s possible to keep it going at a respectable standard any longer. It’s a shame because this blog was only just beginning to grow, and the number of readers grows constantly. The blog has been used by many thousands of people in over 86 countries in just over a year. Unfortunately, the list of writing material is exhaustive.

The main concept of The Lycée Times was to help ex-pats living in France understand the education system here, hearing it first-hand from a student who goes through it on a daily basis. I am proud to say that in the short time of the year and four months that it’s been live, it has done just that and more. In its first few months, it was to be used by hundreds of people living not only in France, but in the USA, the UK, Australia and other countries all over the world. This proved that it was not only a useful tool for those already living here, but also for those who were thinking of moving to France.

I could see that the number of readers was increasing, but I didn’t know if it was of any use to any of them. It wasn’t until some of your emails of appreciation and suggestions started to come in that I realised I was onto something that could clarify many points of the French education system for many ex-pats in France. To think that some of you were taking the time out to email me to thank me for the helpful articles, was very encouraging and I thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for your support. Some asked questions about the education system, and in one case someone in Australia asked for help with a school project on the French system (they got a good grade!). People started to share links to articles on ex-pat forums and so, through all of these factors, I saw the number of readers explode. People were even subscribing to the blog through email to get all the latest posts sent straight to their inbox, something I honestly didn’t think would be used seeing as I personally never subscribe to email newsletters.

So, I would like to take the time out to thank you (as some of you have done for me) for reading my blog and for your words of encouragement over the last year and a bit. I’m not going to stop writing though. I will no longer be posting on The Lycée Times, nor will I be posting about education, but I have set my sights on helping more people through my blogging and this time in a looser fashion, without having to publish a post before a deadline. I’m still following the road to journalism and I’m proud to say that you’ve played a part in it.

If  you have any questions you want to ask, anything you’d like to add, or if you would like some advice on how to set up an education blog and write articles, don’t hesitate to send an email to thelyceetimes@gmail.com. I’ll try my best to help out.

Thank you for this great experience and enjoy the summer holidays!

Yours,

The Editor

Submit your helpful article here: thelyceetimes@gmail.com

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