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A million thanks and goodbye for now, Sarah Bermingham!

Hi! My name is Sarah Bermingham, I am from Ireland, and I am the English Assistant teacher here at Anno-Gymnasium. I joined the school last September, but sadly, May marks my last month here. I had such a wonderful time in Anno-Gymnasium and will greatly miss it!

Throughout the last few months, I have worked with various classes and teachers, and have really enjoyed being part of the classes. The role varied from class-to-class: With some year groups I held small conversation groups, I assisted my years 6’s and 7’s with their video projects and presentations, I also acted as a mock examiner for the Cambridge Exams along with Georgia Weber in the lead up to their exams as the examiner is always a native speaker, and one of my favourites: I played Irish sport with some year groups as well.

It really has been a very full 9 months! Looking back, here are the main highlights:

Before Christmas, a small group of students were preparing to travel to Ireland where they would work for 3 weeks. Before they travelled to Ireland, I met with the group and answered any questions they had. As well, with their teacher Achim Werner and another Irish Assistant Teacher Róisín, we headed to Siegburg’s Christmas market. Like how it would be their first time in Ireland, this was my first time to experience a German Christmas Market!

In January, Götz Maier kindly allowed me to accompany his year 12 group on their trip to Brussels to visit the European Parliament. This was without a doubt a great trip!

In March and April, I worked with a few sport teachers who were eager to introduce Irish Sport to their classes. In Ireland we have two traditional sports: Gaelic Football and Hurling. The students had a great time learning the new sport and they picked it up as if
they were professionals!

For St. Patrick’s Day, in Irish schools, we often colour in pictures and stick them up on the classroom windows. Wanting to be part of this tradition, a few of my year 5’s coloured in some lovely images for their classroom.

And as well, Achim Werner raised the Irish flag outside the school which was wonderful to see!

In Year 7, the students’ textbooks look at the UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland , and so I was absolutely delighted to be able to share my memories of Ireland, the history of the Republic of Ireland and to help answer any questions that they had. As well as that, I also introduced a little bit of the Irish language to the classroom!

It was a really busy few months and I could stay writing about it all, but I can’t put everything down or it would be like a book. I really enjoyed my time at Anno-Gymnasium. All students and staff were very welcoming and so helpful. I am in awe of the standard of English here in Anno-Gymnasium and have no doubt that the students will do well in their English exams with such a fantastic English Department to support them. I wish I could extend my time here, but it’s time to go back to Ireland.

Thank you to Achim Werner for organising my time here, to Anno-Gymnasium and to all the students!! It has been an amazing and unforgettable experience.

As we say in Irish: Go raibh míle maith agat agus slán go fóill! (A million thanks and goodbye for now!)