Mme. Force helps students discover a love of French language and culture
December 3, 2018
by Brandon Stoia
Normandy High School
Bethanne Force is making a lasting impact on students at Normandy High School.
“Madame Force not only taught me a lot about French within the one year of having her, but she also taught me a lot about how to approach life in order to gain the most out of it. I just love her!” Lauren Mussig, a Normandy graduate, expressed.
This school year will only be Force’s third year teaching the four levels of French at Normandy. She has been leaving an impression on the students who have been taught by her, and even inspiring those she didn’t have in class.
“I’ve never even had her as a teacher yet I still love her,” Normandy student Stephanie B. said. “She made me discover my love of traveling and learning about new cultures.”
Graduating from Orange High School, Force used motivation in every corner of her life to prepare herself for teaching in the future.
“My grandpa, grandma and uncle all spoke French,” she shared. “My French teacher in high school used to be a flight attendant and traveled the world. She is the reason why I kept taking French in college.”
Majoring in French Education at Ohio University, Force was able to study abroad in Quebec City, Canada, and Avignon, France. After college, she spent the next 11 years teaching, including four years in France, teaching English as a second language.
Through her teaching, she was able to meet her husband.
“I feel very lucky that I was able to teach abroad and that we met each other during that time,” she expressed.
Her favorite part about teaching is watching her students learn and progress in the classroom.
“It’s amazing to see my French IV students have conversations with each other and understand the language,” Force described.
This past summer, Force organized a trip to Europe with her students and her colleague, Matt Mucha, discovering not only France, but Italy as well.
“That was my favorite experience as a teacher. Mr. Mucha and I had such a wonderful, positive group of Normandy kids and we had so much fun getting to know them better,” she shared. “It was some of my students’ first time on a plane and really getting out of their comfort zone. Opening their eyes to the world of travel was a priceless experience!”
For those who consider learning French or any language in general, Force has some advice.
“Don’t be afraid of making mistakes,” she shared. “You have to try to speak the language as much as you can, and if you make mistakes it’s okay. When I moved to France, I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from every one of them.”
PHOTO CAPTION: At Normandy High School, French teacher Madame Bethanne Force encourages and inspires students to learn about more than just the French language.