Isabel Heiss: A Reflection on Internship Experiences

Abreise_LAX_ Isabel Heiss good by german school campus german language school FI

Abschlussbericht and Reflection from our Intern Isabel Heiss

Through my internship, I was able to gain a lot of experience and get to know everyday life in a German school in California. I got insights into the subjects of German, Spanish, cooking, and baking. I was also able to experience the life of school children from high school, and elementary school, and also children in homeschooling classes.

The approach of the German School Campus revolves around teaching the children the content in a playful, creative, motivating, and action-oriented way. This allowed me to get to know many learning games and at the same time take away ideas for lively and animating lessons. I was able to improve my skills as a teacher by observing and teaching myself. Ms. Schoeneich created an online classroom for all teachers, where you have access to all teaching material. This gave me the opportunity to be inspired by already compiled work materials and to work with and expand on them. In addition, I gained an insight into the organization of such a school and witnessed the methodical procedure. Thus, I have perceived everyday school life from different perspectives and have had the opportunity to learn a lot from it. In addition to the varied lessons, there were also many projects that developed me further in my profession as a teacher. These included a beach clean-up, pumpkin carving, and German celebrations such as St. Nicholas, St. Martin’s Day, and Oktoberfest. In the process, I learned how important it is for children to gain insight into our culture and to be able to see comparisons and connections. I appreciate being able to design a project myself and work with the children as a music teacher. In this way, I was able to contribute personally and be an integral part of the school.

cooking classes at german school campus with intern Isabel Heiss german language school at Ila Charter school

The cooking and baking courses took place within the framework of the German School with the campus location in San Clemente at ILA, which organizes and offers different courses for homeschooling children. On the one hand, it was particularly important to pay attention to hygiene, to train them, and to make the children aware of it. On the other hand, we mainly cooked specialties from Germany, Austria, and France. Therefore, during the cooking lessons, different foods, different ways of preparation, and the cultural background of the dishes were introduced.

For performance measurement, there are oral or written quizzes in all courses, which are calculated as percentages. At the end of the semester or school year, several performance queries than result in an overall grade. Here I also learned how important transparency is when working with students and parents. Thus, it is helpful to regularly give several small grades in order to have feedback for the children. The C1/DSDII exam in German, which I was able to witness, was particularly interesting.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have done an internship in the USA with the financial support of the DAAD and the German School campus. I was able to learn a lot from my colleagues and Frau Schoeneich, but also from my students during this time, which will accompany me in my future career.