Michèle arrived in the UK from the Vendée region of France in 1997. While studying for a Postgraduate Degree in English Literature in Nantes, she obtained a position as a Language Assistant at a British university, a job she held for two years.

After this, she remained in England and started a Postgraduate Degree in Education to become a French teacher in the secondary education sector. After completing her studies she worked in various schools across the East Midlands for a period of 10 years.

Following this, she decided to take a break from teaching and completed a Diploma in Environmental Conservation, trained as a Park ranger and did volunteering work for the National Trust. 

However, finding paid work in the environmental sector proved difficult, so Michèle went back to the teaching profession and started working in Special Needs schools and then in a Pupil Referral Unit as a teacher for vulnerable children. She hopes she can one day combine her love of teaching with her love for the environment.

I was very sad when it [Brexit] happened. For the first time in 20 years I felt like I wasn’t welcome. I have been working and paying my taxes, I am teaching difficult groups that nobody else wants to teach, it’s not like I am stealing work from anybody.

I go online and I see all those young people, the Millennials, who are so open-minded, and so well educated. Most of them are so accepting of other people’s differences, be it their nationality or their sexual identity.

They are eager to see increased minorities representation in cinema and TV. They want to see and interact with more people of colour, more LGBT, more people with different religion or beliefs than their own, more people with disabilities on their screens.

They are all so friendly. And then out there, you have people blaming Europeans for stealing jobs, you have this rampant nationalism that seems so out of place in a century where we’ve all “gone global”. I don’t understand where that’s coming from.