Hallo, ich möchte mich vorstellen und Ihnen die Ziele und Verlangen meines Jahres als Englischassistentin vorlegen. Ich werde natürlich auf Englisch schreiben, da ja meine Arbeit ist, Ihnen Englisch beizubringen!
I arrived in Jena in September 2005 excited about the challenge of this job in a new country. I had graduated in June with a degree in German and Russian from Edinburgh University in Scotland, and this seemed a perfect opportunity for a first job in Germany. My curiosity in other countries had already taken me three times out of Britain for half-year periods: twice to Russia, where I got my first teaching experience, and once to Austria; and this time I was keen to learn more about Germany.
My mentor teacher, Frau Mucke, obviously a connoisseur at dealing with language assistants, ensured a smooth induction into the school. She hosted me on my arrival, put together my timetable, introduced me to my colleagues, encouraged me to join in the weekly volleyball session, helped me find accommodation and even managed to engage unsuspecting relatives of colleagues in helping me to battle my way through all the bureaucratic procedures which arise when settling into a new town.
My first real input and insight into the school came in the form of the Schulfest, where I had to face a microphone and many as yet unknown but inquisitive faces in order to introduce myself. It was there that I tried my first Bratwurst and also came to realise the seriousness with which a surprising number of our staff and students take chess!
My twelve hours of teaching are spread across the school’s many different subject areas and forms of schooling, the variety of which proves very interesting. I enjoy working with all my colleagues: Frau Günther, Frau Henniger-Still, Frau Lausch, Frau Mucke and Herr Richter. My lessons focus mainly on spoken English using a variety of means such as quizzes, presentations, cartoons, articles and debates. I enjoy bringing into discussion many different subjects which lead to comparisons of life in Britain and Germany. I also take a class once a week with colleagues who make the most of this chance to practise their English whenever their teaching timetable allows them. Our interesting discussions also allow me to learn more about the German culture.
Although I’ve only been here a few months so far, I feel as though I’ve already done so much. I’ve become familiar with all the teachers I am assisting and many others besides, and enjoy greeting everyone in the corridors and classrooms. I find the school has a very amiable atmosphere. I particularly enjoyed getting involved in the French afternoon put on by French guests from partner schools in France, helping with English translations of menus and presentations.
Apart from my time at the school, I have been fortunate to find a team in Jena to keep me practising my favourite sport, Ultimate Frisbee, information about which I’ve managed to share with most of my classes! I’ve also enrolled at the Friedrich Schiller University to study Swedish, which satisfies my hunger for new languages! At weekends I enjoy exploring the hills around Jena and travelling further afield in Thüringen and other regions of Germany. I’m sure the months until I leave at the end of May 2006 will be as good the first months, and will unfortunately go by just as quickly. Thank you to all at SBSZ Jena-Göschwitz for making my time here so pleasant!