Weekly Report at GERMAN SCHOOL campus
My teacher training program for secondary schools at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich requires you to complete an eight-week internship abroad or a semester abroad in an English-speaking country if you are studying English as a major. Since this is the case for me and one of my didactic subjects is German, it was an excellent opportunity to spend an internship at a German school abroad, especially since it allowed me to improve my German and English skills. Through the World Association of German Schools, I came across the German School Campus in Newport Beach, California, last July. After a short exchange with the very friendly principal of the school Mrs. Ursula Schoeneich, she was quick to arrange an online meeting with me to talk about the requirements and framework of the internship. In a short time, we agreed on the training period, and it was already a matter for me to apply for a visa, look for scholarships and then book my outbound flight. My internship was supposed to start on February 01, 2022, and to settle in a bit; I already flew to Los Angeles on January 21. So I moved into the house, which I could rent earlier on my arrival. The principal picked me up at the airport and drove me to the house. After settling in and relaxing over the weekend, I went to class at the Newport Beach Main Campus on Monday.
I participated in the classes of the K-6 group, where they are divided into three groups depending on their age (5-12). To introduce myself to everyone, we formed a large sitting circle in one of the three classrooms, and I was allowed to present a presentation I had prepared about my studies and life in Germany. The classes were at different language levels, but with the help of the students and the teachers, we were able to make sure that everyone could understand the presentation. Then after a short break, I took part in Mrs. Schoeneich’s lesson with the smallest of the group. First, we read together, and the meaning of each word was discussed and explained. After that, a worksheet was worked on, where the students had the task to connect words that belong together and then write them down. Finally, the children still in kindergarten received exceptional support, and they managed to write down the words quite well.
Last but not least, they were allowed to form numbers with Playdough and to recite them in German. This action-oriented lesson was great fun for the still very young students and motivated them to say the numbers correctly. All in all, it was a very nice first day of my internship, which gave me an insight into the next few weeks, which is why I was looking forward to it the whole time.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the classes of the German School Campus take place in Irvine. Since my internship didn’t start until the following week, I still had to take care of a rental car, where Ms. Schoeneich always supported me. I initially only joined the classes in Irvine online. However, I was able to briefly introduce myself to the students and gain an insight into the lessons of older students and how the classrooms in Irvine are organized. On Tuesday, I also got a brief glimpse of the A1, A2, and B2/C1 classes. I was already allowed to present my Munich power-point. These students were extreme in words and speech and could follow the presentation without help, asking many questions along the way. It was amazing to observe how well the students spoke German and their knowledge about life in Germany. Finally, on Thursday, I introduced myself to the B1/AP class of Mrs. Kerstin Roche with my presentation and was able to get to know even more students. They also had a wide range of knowledge about life in Germany, and it was a lot of fun to present my PowerPoint to them.
The first insights I was able to gain into everyday school life at the German School Campus this week were fascinating. I am already looking forward to taking part in lessons every day from next week onwards and observing how the teachers organize their classes. There are often events coming up, such as the “Open House at German School Campus” following Monday. Everyone interested in learning German can visit the school and observe the processes. Through events like this, I have the opportunity to see how many people here in California are interested in the German language. Through this, I can also interact with the parents of the children. These are experiences of utmost relevance to my later life as a teacher.
All in all, two beautiful months await me, in which I can participate in the teaching of this school and practice myself. I am very excited about what is in store for me and am happy to have been given such an opportunity. The experiences and insights I will have here are unique and offer me an excellent opportunity to improve my role as a teacher. In addition, I will have a chance to teach a foreign language to children and be enriched with methods used for this purpose. There is also a very high probability that this internship will become my motivation to teach abroad myself one day.