Michèle arrived in the UK from the Vendée region of France in 1997 to take a position as a Language Assistant at a British university, a job she held for two years.

She then started a Postgraduate Degree in Education to train as a French teacher in the secondary education sector. After completing her studies Michèle 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.

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“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.
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Young British people are so open-minded and friendly, and so well educated. They are very accepting of other people’s differences, be it their nationality or their sexual identity. They embrace people of colour, the LGBT collective, and people with different religions or beliefs than their own.

And then, on the other side of the scale, you have people blaming Europeans for stealing jobs and this rampant nationalism that seems so out of place in a century where we’ve all “gone global”. I really don’t understand where that’s coming from.