I didn’t travel for most of June, I stayed put and enjoyed as much German culture and landscape as possible. Here’s June in a nutshell. Continue reading
A rough translation for those of you non-German speakers. There were a few liberties taken back at the newspaper office or something was lost in translation during the interview, so I’ve added a few brackets with notes.
“Good morning, boys and girls!“ – “Good morning, Miss Prescott!“ It’s routine since the American, Mariah Prescott, has been at the Wiedau-Schule in Bothel. Since the beginning of September, the 24-year-old Foreign language teaching assistant has been helping out in all classes at the school. Continue reading
“The first time I went to a playground in Berlin, I freaked. All the German parents were huddled together, drinking coffee, not paying attention to their children who were hanging off a wooden dragon 20 feet above a sand pit. Where were the piles of soft padded foam? The liability notices? The personal injury lawyers? […]
Here are a few surprising things Berlin parents do:
Don’t push reading. Berlin’s kindergartens or “kitas” don’t emphasize academics. In fact, teachers and other parents discouraged me from teaching my children to read. I was told it was something special the kids learn together when they start grade school. Kindergarten was a time for play and social learning. But even in first grade, academics aren’t pushed very hard. Our grade school provides a half-day of instruction interrupted by two (two!) outdoor recesses. But don’t think this relaxed approach means a poor education: According to a 2012 assessment by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, German 15-year-olds perform well above the international average when it comes to reading, math and science while their more pressured American counterparts lag behind. […] Continue reading