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Madame Noble – L’étoile de BHS

“It doesn’t really matter where you go, it matters what you do when you get there.”

After several years of teaching at Bedford High School, Madame Noble has humbly made a name for herself as a genuine and hardworking member of the BHS staff. She teaches French III, IB French IV, and the Advanced French course, Culture and Conversation. Madame Noble is not only a key figure in the foreign language department, but the school as a whole. But what students might not know about their favorite French teacher is that her initial plans were not to become a teacher at all.

After receiving her major in French from the University of Massachusetts, Madame Noble spent two years as a paralegal in an automobile liability litigation law firm – for Jeep. Wait, what? It’s true – Madame Noble could have been a lawyer for Bedford’s favorite car company. She states that she’d “always thought she’d use the French” but did not think she would make a career out of teaching it; instead, she was interested in international law and banking. However, it is clear that those two years were some of the most important in her early life, as Madame Noble states that they gave her a “very good look at law.” Madame Noble’s law firm partner of the time offered her a lot of first-year lawyer work, which Madame Nobel cites as extremely crucial in helping her realize she did not want to take that particular path. 

So how did she find teaching? She was inspired by tutoring a friend’s younger sister. After deciding against a career in law, this experience made Madame realize “oh, I think I want to go into teaching!” Having never presumed in her high school years that she would ever consider the teaching route, Madame Noble headed back to college (this time, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) to earn her Master’s Degree in education. And the collective population of Bedford French students is forever grateful for this turn of events. 

All of this is well and good, but let’s get to the juicy stuff – who was Mademoiselle Noble? For you unilingual folks, what was Noble like in high school? Well for one, she definitely would have been someone you want on your team. In fact, Noble thrived as a student athlete. She played three (!) sports at her high school in Acton, Massachusetts, and was the captain of her field hockey team. Madame Noble was a jock in high school, do with this knowledge what you will. However, she does mention that one thing she loves about the high school experience now is that “people cross those lines” of separate cliques.

12“It just doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing something good and fun,” says Noble about high school labels. 

So what could possibly make Madame Noble so passionate about the French language? As it turns out, France itself. When the young Noble was a freshman in high school, her grandmother passed away, leaving each of her grandchildren $1,000 dollars. With her inheritance, Madame Noble decided to visit her cousins, who lived in the City of Lights itself, Paris. This trip marked the first time Madame Noble ever flew on a plane. Despite being alone on her trip overseas, Noble had a feeling that she would be grateful for the experience. “I saw the bilingualism, right away, and I was like, ‘this is cool’,” she says. Like most visitors, Madame Noble fell in love with Paris. So, when her junior year of college rolled around, Noble decided to do not only one, but both semesters abroad. She knew exactly where she was going to go – that year in Paris “solidified it,” explains Noble. 

As an inspirational teacher figure herself, one might wonder: where does Madame Noble’s seemingly endless wisdom and caring come from? When asked about teachers that inspired her in her younger years, Madame Noble immediately mentions her family. “A lot of my mother’s side of the family were teachers,” says Noble. So, she was a bit of a teaching legacy. Noble also mentions her high school softball coach/math teacher, who inspired Madame with his brave battle against MS. “He was just an amazing teacher,” Madame reminisces. “Such a great guy.” Noble also points out her German professor in college (yes, Madame Noble took German, too), who was “a riot.” We can all thank that professor for her impact on Noble’s teaching style, as Noble cites the former educator as very influential on the way Madame teaches now. 

When asked what advice she could give to not only her own students but every high schooler worried about life after senior year, Madame Noble mentions the amount of stress that the majority of students have about grades.

“It seems to be all about… the one point, or the two points, trying to get to that A minus,” she remarks.

However, Madame mentions that she herself got a 2 out of 5 on the French AP exam. “And yet here I am,” she says, laughing, “I made my whole career about French.” Noble stresses that although grades seem to be all-important now, the school experience should be more about the learning process and growing as a person. “It’s about finding what’s going to work for you,” she says. It seems that Madame Noble can dish out wisdom in French and English. 

As the interview draws to a close, it comes time for what has quickly become the staple question of the Teacher Feature column. So, what kind of fruit is Madame Noble? Upon being asked, Noble immediately says, “I need a list of fruits.” It seems she will answer this question with the same attention to detail that she applies to the rest of her career. After a brief minute of intense concentration and research, Madame settles on either a tomato or a blueberry. Why? Because they can stand on their own, but can also pair with other foods to become a different flavor.

“I like to think that I’m somewhat diverse in my life,” comments Mme Noble. “I feel like I do have a few different sides to me.”

There is no doubt that Madame Noble is not only a superb teacher but a multi-faceted person. And life at Bedford High School is vastly improved because of it.