Master Teacher - France
Kevin Fender
Bonjour! My name is Kevin Fender, and I’ll be your Master Teacher this summer in southern France. My current students have to call me Monsieur Fender, but in the summer time I go by Kevin-- last time I taught for Rassias a group of students took to calling me k.Fed (I guess he and Britney Spears were popular at the time).
I’ve known the Rassias family since the first time I visited Dartmouth campus in Hanover, NH at age 10. My oldest sister, Kelly, was studying French at Dartmouth at the time and she loved the enthusiasm of the Rassias method. She loved it so much that she has since found her way back to Dartmouth as a French professor. Kelly and I both grew up in a French immersion program in our hometown of Eugene, Oregon. We had part of our day completely in French from grade 1 all the way through grade 12.
During my high school years I loved sports, especially football, and I had a strong desire to travel and live abroad. I was fortunate enough to spend 6 months in Europe between my junior and senior year football seasons. I spent the majority of that time in a French homestay in northern France. Following that time in Northern France, I took a train to the south and I participated in this very same Rassias Arles, France program! My sister Kelly was even the MT on that program, too!
After graduating high school in Oregon, I headed to Tufts University near Boston, MA, to study French and Engineering, and to play football. I ended up switching from Engineering to entrepreneurial business, and from football to no sports; but I kept the French! I also had the opportunity to study abroad, and this time I targeted southern France again, since Arles was so fantastic. I ended up adding a summer program in the Alps near Annecy, France before my junior year abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France; and I also jumped on board as an Assistant Teacher for the Arles, France Rassias program of 2009 directly following that year abroad. All in all these programs allowed me to live in France, mainly in southern France, for about 15 months.
I loved the opportunity to spend that much time immersed in the language and culture of southern France, and I craved even more. After graduating tufts with a degree in French Lit., I again taught as an AT on Rassias Arles, France 2010 and stayed in France to teach English as a language assistant in French high schools in Aix-en-Provence. After yet another amazing full year in southern France in 2010-2011, and meeting the woman who I’ll be marrying this September, I returned to the States to take a job teaching 2nd grade French immersion.
I have been teaching in the Milton Public Schools in Milton, MA ever since. For several years I stayed in my roll of 2nd grade French Immersion, wherein I taught 100% in French to my crew of usually about 26 2nd graders all day long. I’m currently teaching French in the middle school, mainly grade 6, and although I still teaching 100% in French, my students now only have 2 out of 7 periods a day in French. Since moving back to the USA with Madeline in 2011, I haven’t made it back to France, so as you can imagine I’m very excited to return to my favorite place on earth.
I’m especially excited since I’ll get to share it with all of you! I encourage you to be open and willing to commit yourself to the cultural immersion and intensive language acquisition that makes this program so unique. There is nothing better than feeling at home at the weekend markets Arles has to offer, and to have your French host family notice your language improvement just days after you get settled in.
There’s also nothing better than working with the Lopez family: our organizers, managers, friends, and everything-elsers in Arles, France. I was lucky enough to work along-side Jeremy Lopez as an assistant teacher, to work with Karin Lopez to design former itineraries, and to work with Eric Lopez smoothing out the operations of the program. Rest assured we are in the best Belgian/Italian/French/Spanish hands you’ll find in southern France.
I look forward to meeting each of you when you arrive in France! À bientôt!