*️️️️️️*️️️️The ability to communicate in German is essential**
We are a small, rural day and boarding school for German and international pupils aged from 7 to 20. Our school is one of a group of three German boarding schools founded over 100 years ago. Our school is based at the picturesque border of the German states of Thuringia and Bavaria. It has lovingly been described by previous assistants as a cross between Hogwarts and the Shire. Every year for over 20 years, life in our school has been enriched by at least two native English-speaking Language Assistants, who spend a school year (mid-August to June/ July) taking part in all that our school village has to offer alongside helping the six English teachers and encouraging unwilling, weak or especially gifted learners to improve their English abilities.
Our school is not just a school, but also a village with its own small organic farm with horses, pigs, sheep, vegetable gardens and orchards. Our school motto is "Kopf, Herz, Hand", so spending time with pupils in the sport's hall, stables or art room (just a couple of examples) is of (near) equal importance as this helps to build a basis of trust, which is the essence of a successful teaching relationship.
The benefits of life here are numerous.
- Gain teaching experience
- Build up your resume
- Have a once-in-a-lifetime experience
- Learn to live in harmony with nature
- Live in a beautiful location
- Improve your German skills
- Discover newfound responsibility, independence, and calling
- Discover Europe (at your own expense, made affordable by flixbus and couchsurfing)
- Potentially go to Oktoberfest
- See countless castles
- Take part in school trips as an additional supervisor
- Experience German culture through theatre and music
- Ample paid vacation time
- Coffee breaks galore
We pay a salary of €900 a month, which equates to the German minimum wage. This amounts to around €450 per month after room, board, all meals and health insurance are deducted.
Language Assistants are encouraged to share their hobbies with staff and pupils. Previous assistants have played chess, joined local soccer/ badminton/ volleyball teams, learned to bake German cakes, ridden the school horses, offered creative arts courses, helped lead the church youth group in a local village, joined the school choir, given guitar lessons...
As we have a small farm on site there is also the possibility of getting involved with the agricultural side of life. Spinning and carding wool, baking bread in our baking house or jam-making are some of the skills you could become involved with if you so choose.
The list really is endless. It's a question of discovering common interests with members of staff or pupils. It is much easier for you to do this if you have a working grasp of German before you come.
This host offers accommodation and payment.
We are looking for responsible, reliable people who aren't afraid of hard work and who enjoy working with young people. We expect you to have previous experience of working with children or young people and to be able to speak intermediate German, as this will aid you in communicating with staff and pupils alike. Of course language skills improve immensely over the year through immersion, but an ability to communicate in German really helps to become integrated into school life.
Primary responsibilities include: English tutoring sessions (Nachhilfe, Lernzeit), assisting teachers in class, potentially substituting English classes, teaching your own lessons later in the year (or whenever you are ready), presenting new topics in class, attending the mandatory meals and meetings, chaperoning and attending events, and other miscellaneous and unforeseen responsibilities (i.e. one assistant was asked to teach a weekly Spanish class and another led a storytelling-group in the primary school).
Assistants are often asked to take on extra responsibility, such as being responsible for boarding students for a period of time, which may involve moving in to a room in a boarding house; or covering English classes when a colleague is sick. We like to encourage flexibility!
Our Language Assistants are expected to maintain professionalism in appearance, behaviour and discipline. In addition to this, they are basically expected to be role models to the students (especially for the boarders) as well as acting as unofficial ambassadors for their country. Willingness and openness to adapt to living in a new culture really is important.
Our assistants and interns live in single rooms in a shared flat on site with shared kitchen/ living area and bathroom. Sometimes assistants have lived in single rooms in our boarding houses, with access to the school's home economics kitchen. Assistants have access to the school laundry. There is Wifi coverage in the flat, but it is not always 100% reliable.
During term-time, all meals are provided in our school cafeteria. There is always a vegetarian alternative and most allergies can be catered for. We don't offer an entirely vegan diet, although a previous vegan assistant didn't have to change her diet while she was here. Our boarders live in small "families" in houses on site. Assistants are attached to a family, eat meals with them in the school cafeteria and spend an evening each week doing activities ranging from hiking to cinema visits to cooking pizza. About 20 staff members also live on site.
It should go without saying that drugs are completely forbidden for all staff and students. It is also not permitted to smoke in the apartment. For over 18s there is a designated smoking area on site.
We are 3 km from the nearest village, with a small shop, church and pub. The nearest towns are about 20 minutes away but it's sometimes possible to get a lift there with teachers from school to do a bit of shopping or just have a cup of coffee. At weekends when we have Saturday school, there are bus trips to Coburg or other towns in the local area.
Every 2 weeks boarders return home and Assistants use this time to relax or travel. There are buses to main train stations (Fulda or Lichtenfels) for these exeat weekends, which make them a great time for personal travel. Some assistants choose to accompany our international students to famous German cities for these weekends.
Living in a rural part of Germany, on the border between the states of Bavaria and Thuringia (the border between former East and West Germany), can feel isolated and secluded at times; on the other hand, the nature can prove incredibly relaxing and therapeutic.
We all lead our own busy and hectic lives and most of the teachers who live on site have families of our own. The Assistants who had an amazing time here were always the ones who share a common interest or hobby with staff members. Staff members who live on site often enjoy a glass of wine (or a cup of tea) with assistants. As a Christian, I'm involved in our local church, and previous assistants (protestant, Catholic, free church and Mormon) have taken part in relatively regular bible study, services and youth group with myself and/ or other Christian members of staff.
We generally appoint new Assistants in early spring. If we are interested in appointing you, we will send you our standardised application form and safeguarding information. This is particularly necessary as you will be living and working in a school.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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