No news about where I'm going to work, with less than a week to go. I'll give them a call tomorrow if I find time. In the meantime, here's part one of how to pass a Capes (the Certificat d'aptitude au professorat de l'enseignement secondaire, I think).
The first stage is the written exams: one essay in English, another in French and two translations. The essay in English is OK if you've done your homework: you get an extract from one of the set books, or a document about the civilisation topic, and you have five hours to write a commentary on it in English. Survivable for native speakers who don't mind writing essays, but take a good supply of water and chocolate to keep you going.
Next there's the essay in French. This will usually be Le/La/Les [insert noun here] dans [insert set book here]. So, Le savoir dans The Scarlet Letter, Le fromage dans Coriolan or Les escargots dans Sherlock Holmes. Although the study guides tell you there's no one way to approach this question, it helps if you can do French style, three-part essays. If you can't, this is more an exercise in damage limitation - try not to say anything too stupid and leave plenty of time to check your verb endings, adjective agreements and preceding direct objects.
The translations are like the ones you did at school, but harder and usually literary but no more than 100 years old. The best preparation for these is probably to read a lot.
If that sounds hard, it's because they're trying to eliminate most of the candidates. If you look at the paper and go "Whaaat?!? Who the hell knows that?" and collapse in a sobbing heap, you're buggered. You just have to plough on and hope enough other candidates are doing at least as badly as you. And that's just the first hoop.
At this point you may be asking "What's the point? Does this have anything to do with teaching?" This is like a seal saying "What does balancing a ball on my nose have to do with getting a fish?". If you want the fish, get balancing and stop asking questions. Now, some would argue that testing ball balancing skills might actually be a fairer way of choosing teachers, on the grounds that you might actually select candidates who know how to keep the kids amused for an hour. That is, of course, an extremely narrow minded view because it ignores cross-curricular issues; if all English, French, Science and History lessons consisted of teachers balancing balls on their noses, the kids might get bored. And that would never do.