Achtung Baby Or Teaching English

12/11/2010 22:33 | Updated 22 May 2015

When I moved to Germany I got a job doing about the only thing you can do until you've mastered the language. I became an English trainer at a language school. Having had no previous experience, I took on the role of educator with a mixture of enthusiasm and trepidation.

As it turned out, I loved it. Of course my students were fully grown adults. Adults paying a substantial sum for my services and who were enthusiastic and willing to learn.

Had I been required to instill knowledge into anything vaguely prepubescent, kids more interested in texting their mates and squeezing spots than learning something worthwhile, my experience may not have left me quite so fulfilled.

A combination of becomming a mum, moving house and a deterioration in health, led me, regretfully, to give up my work as a tutor.

I found myself missing it though. So, when I was approached my one of the mums from Finje's kindergarten about helping her teenage daughter with her English school work, I was both pleased and terrified. Pre-adult humans are not my company of choice. Anyone too young to know what a Clanger is or to have seen Take That first time round has little in common with me.

The idea of having to "get down wiv the yoof" is alarming to me to say the least. It's a hundred years since I was one and I'm pretty sure I was pretty loathsome.In an attempt to preempt potential grimness, I told the mum I would help out with pleasure (not entirely accurate) but only on the proviso that the kid actually wanted help. She assured me she did. Two days later, I waited, preposterously nervous, for my student to arrive.

As it turned out she was lovely. Not yet officially a teenager at the tender age of 12, she was a little shy but smart and willing to learn. I actually liked her. Who would have thunk it?

Towards the end of the hour, Finje returned home. She recognised my student as being the sister of a friend. We explained that she was here so I could help her with her English for school.

Finje rolled her eyes and proceeded to explain to my baffled student that there was no necessity for her to come to me, as Finje herself could help her!

"You can wiz me sprechen. I also am talking super well English. Ja mama?"


Achtung Baby
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