November 19, 2015

German Teacher Training in Berlin

by Margarete Orlik-Walsh
German Teacher, RSSAA Lower School 

Frau Walsh


Deutsche-Woche in Berlin

Professional Development
for German Teachers
from Waldorf Schools Worldwide

I would like to thank the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor for the support I have received to spend time in Berlin. And great thanks are due to the incredibly dedicated and highly skilled team of master teachers who have been organizing this much appreciated week for German teachers worldwide for almost 30 years...

{Also see end of this post for fun books you can check out at the Ellie Klopp Library for reading in German!}

Thoughts from Last Year:
At the end of October 2014, the Annual International Conference for Teachers of German at Waldorf Schools took place in Berlin for the fourth time. Just like a four-leaf clover is said to bring good luck, I felt very lucky indeed to have participated in this inspiring week for all of these four years.

Many colleagues from Italy, France and as far away as Finland, Russia and Brazil happily reunited and made friends with “newbies” from Australia and England, New York and Chicago, Slovakia, and Hungary. This wonderfully diverse group of 60 participants from 19 countries came to Berlin with the wish to deepen our classroom work. 

Highly informative and inspiring lectures and workshops, delightful group singing and movement exercises, as well as countless conversations for talking shop were only one part of the busy week. 

Field trips in the evening to the renowned parliament building, the “Reichstag”; attending a theatre performance; a day-long geological / historical excursion to one of Germany’s national parks... all made for an exciting and energizing week.

Reflections on This Year's Experience:
“Why did you go to Berlin – again, Frau Walsh?” an inquisitive Fourth Grader asked me upon my return from the October 2015 International Week for German Teachers at Waldorf Schools.

“To learn more and become a better teacher,” was my response.

There are, of course, many facets which make this personal and professional development possible. In the course of the week, participants benefit from deeply informative lectures about German history and geography, as well as current trends in the German language. Also offered are, of course, workshops on methods and practical aspects of teaching German as a foreign language. And there are countless inspiring conversations and exchanges of ideas over lunch and dinner, and during excursions to the theater and to famous sights.

For the second year, I was honored to be one of the workshop presenters, aiding younger or less experienced colleagues, and thereby supporting the worldwide Waldorf movement.

To connect and reconnect with colleagues from around the world – from as far as Brazil, Australia, Russia, the United States, and Scandinavia  to sing together daily, and to be able to talk shop in German for a full week has been inspiring and health-giving. I am deeply grateful to our school community for granting me this leave of absence for the fifth time.

Note from the RSSAA Librarians:

Many thanks to Frau Walsh for sharing her experiences with us and for bringing her wonderful knowledge and enthusiasm to the World Languages program at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling *in German [link]
Check out our growing German Language collection in the Ellie Klopp Library at the Lower School, including some popular fiction book titles! *in German [link]


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