Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Life as an English Language Assistant


I've been in Germany for exactly a month and have spent three of those weeks teaching in two "Grundschule" (primary schools) in N├╝rnberg. The experience has been mixed to say the least. I thought in today's blog post I would just talk a little bit about what that has been like for me as it's definitely had some highlights but also some very low and stressful points too.

Turning up to school on my first day was almost as nerve wracking as it would have been if I was going to be a student again. Perhaps more so. I had no idea what to expect, as the course in Cologne had been more geared towards teaching in a High School. I didn't know whether or not the lessons were going to be taught in English or German and I was terrified that nobody would be able to understand my albeit mild but nonetheless Scottish accent. However after a quick chat in German with the headteacher in German and a cup of coffee I was off again after a very taxing half hour at the school I was done for the day. 

Unfortunately this was a bit of a running theme throughout my first weeks at school, with my timetable only just being finalised this week. It was pretty difficult setting my alarm for 6am and getting two Ubahns all the way across the city only to be told that I wasn't needed that day but I guess it's just a settling in process... I keep telling myself that anyway...   

With 9 different classes in total and about 25 in each class it's definitely going to take me a while to learn all the names and abilities of each different class but each class definitely has a unique personality which I love. 

To round off this pretty rambly post I thought I'd include some of my favourite Grundschule moments so far although there's been many times I've had to hold back the giggles. 

    "Does anyone know why Zara is a Miss in English and I am a Mrs?"   "Zara is a boy and you are a girl." Thanks m8. 
The fact that one teacher doesn't want the children to know I speak German. The amount of arguments I have had to listen to between children deciding who was going to come and speak to me ingggggis just too funny. Although I definitely haven't perfected the blank expression and I think they are catching on. 

When the floor was opened to questions the first and only question I was asked was "Do you like apple juice?". Apparently me liking apple juice has earned me some sort of badge of coolness and I got a clap #winning 

Any time the teacher gets the children to repeat after me and I hear a hint of Scottish amongst the German accents. So proud. 

The copious amounts of Raps I have had to sing. From a Halloween rap to a school rap I'm going to come back from my year abroad the next Nicki Minaj with all this practise. The children absolutely love these raps and maybe my favourite moment of all so far has been when we were rapping about Daisy the dragon being in love - really essential vocab for a nine year old... when the teacher turned her back to the class they all got up and started dancing. Now this isn't uncommon, in fact the children always seem to be out their seats for one reason or another but it was the little boy on crutches who managed to get up and fistpump his crutch in the air who was really the star of the show. Of course when the teacher turned back around the class sat down in a flash leaving the poor little boy standing alone thus being the only child to get in trouble for causing a raucous. I know I shouldn't laugh but with more enthusiastic dancing for Daisy the Dragon than most people have in a club on a Friday night I couldn't quite hold it in.

If you are teaching on your year abroad this year leave me a comment with your favourite classroom moments!




  1. The apple juice thing cracked me up, so random haha. Hope that year abroad life is treating you well tho!

  2. They really do come out with the most random things sometimes! Thank you and thanks for reading! :)


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