Emma in Euroland

Tea, Cake and Travel: a year abroad in Germany

One Step Closer to the Top of the Hill

As discussed in my post of 19th June, I recently received notification of my posting for September. As you can imagine, I was over the moon and hastily sketched out an email to the school which I sent to the address I had been given. Everything seemed to be coming together and I was more excited than ever. All this was a bit of an anti-climax though. Yesterday, 9 days after I had originally sent the message, I had still received no reply. All the visions I had had of getting everything sorted easily and way in advance were crumbling before my eyes. Before yesterday I had told myself that my email just hadn’t arrived at the right person yet, I had been given a generic email address after all.

However, after some delving around the school’s website, the email address I had been given was nowhere to be seen. I hastily forwarded my email to the email address I had found, absolutely gutted that I had been waiting for 9 days with no hope of a reply. The address I had found was still a general one and I still expected to have to wait a while for a response. I needn’t have worried though. Whilst at work yesterday, waiting for the last customers to leave, I thought I would check my email. Much to my amazement, I found an email in my inbox from a lady called Ramona. She introduced herself as my mentor and seems absolutely lovely. So many apprehensions I had had about everything seem to disappear and everything now seems a bit more achieveable. She and another lady are already looking for accommodation for me too which is a massive weight off my mind.

Her email was interesting and told me quite a lot more about the school too. I shall be working with 15-16 year olds, something I am really really happy about. I had worried I was going to be working with older people which I would have found to be more of a challenge. I am, of course, not afraid of a challenge, but everything about my year abroad seems to be challenging at the moment and its nice to be able to knock one thing off the list. The school is also quite close to the city centre with good transport links. She also says that I could cycle or walk so it can’t be very far. All of our dates seem to match up which is good and she has confirmed that I will be working 12 hours a week. I had heard from people who had done assistantships before that some schools seemed unaware of the contract and assigned assistants to lessons which greatly exceeded their 12 contracted hours. Thankfully, it would seem that I will not have that problem.

Ramona seemed keen for me to contribute quite a lot. She hopes that I will motivate her students to use English more intensively and feel more confident doing so. She also wants me to teach them about the UK, about our culture and history and geography. I’m really pleased about this as it gives me something to prepare for now. I can start to pull together resources and plan a few lessons.

Do you have any ideas about what I should teach about? And what defines British culture?

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