Monday, May 25, 2015

Thirty-Six More Days--Teaching in Germany

For the past seven posts, I have mostly written about my days teaching special education.  I was able to take a year's leave of absence from Gilbert for the 77-78 school year.   My ex was stationed in Germany in the Army and Kerri and I went over to join him.     At that time (and it still may be the same) the majority of teachers on Army bases were Department of Defense employees who went to different countries to teach.   I applied for a job and the day before school started, I got a call to sub for a teacher who was pregnant.   She was also one of the few teachers who was the wife of a soldier and not a DOD employee.   She taught third grade.   Of course I accepted and started school the very next day without having time to prepare or anything.

The school was at the Army Base in Kitzingen, Germany which is south of Frankfort.   I had only taught special ed so it took a bit to get use to a full class of 30 third graders.  I absolutely loved it!  I had a great class and worked with some wonderful teachers.  

The teacher I was subbing for planned to be out for six weeks.   As the time came for her to be back, I was really feeling down because I was so enjoying it.   I had prepared the kids for her return and then all of a sudden she decided to not come back so I was able to teach the entire year.    

Having lived and gone to school in Douglas and then spending six years in Gilbert, I had worked with a lot of the same people and had many students for more than one year  One of the most interesting things that happened as that during the school year, kids came and went depending on their parents' deployment.  So even though I had 30 kids most of the year, I probably had a total of 45 kids because of  the transfers.   And what I found really interesting is that the kids were so use to this kind of change.   A new student would come in and they would welcome the child and then go about their business.   The same thing would happen when a child left--they said good-bye and that was it.   They were already a part of the military life at that young age!

One particularly memorable event happened one day towards the end of the year.   I had booked the Officer's Club for a class picnic and had everything planned for the kids to barbecue and play games.    We were in the middle of playing a game when an officer came out and asked if the kids could be a bit quieter.  His reason was that they were have a "very important" NATO meeting with General  Patton (General George Patton's son).   I told him very nicely that I would try to keep them quiet, but I couldn't promise.   He went back in and a bit later came out again and asked.   Right behind him was General Patton and he told me that the kids weren't bothering anyone and that they should enjoy themselves!!!!   I liked that.

It was a great year and I knew that when I went back to Gilbert I was going to ask to teach a regular grade level.   If I had not had that opportunity, I would have continued to teach SPED because I liked that, too.

I felt so fortunate to be able to have this experience!  It was a great year.  Although I loved working there, I was glad to get back to Gilbert.   

1 remarks:

Nancy Proffitt said...

I'm just getting caught up on all your wonderful posts. It has been fun walking down memory lane with you!!! Keep it up.