Tuesday, 20 June 2017

5 THINGS I LOVED ABOUT TEACHING IN AUSTRIA


How the kids were
The students in Austria were so much fun to be around. They were super polite and I always felt so comfortable walking into a class. There were one or two rude students of course, but as a whole the student's were kind, courteous and very well mannered. They would always insist on cleaning the board for me, which was extremely cute! They would always get me a chair and used their pleases and thank yous often. They were full of character too, which made teaching them more pleasurable. I also loved the love the children had for nature; when I asked them what they liked, they always responded with something like skiing, hiking or bike riding, they were all such outdoors-y kids and I miss that for England's current and future generations.

The magnificent views en route to the schools and outside the windows
More or less every day I had to stand in awe for a few minutes thinking 'WOW!' just 'WOW'. Austrian is 100% the most beautiful country I have visited yet, and I have visited a few. The mountains and lakes are spectacular. I loved seeing fields upon fields everywhere we went and they seem to have a real respect and love for nature there, which really shines through. Lot's of the schools had huge panel windows so you could see these views for miles and miles and I honestly think it was to inspire students.


The kids wearing their little slippers and crocs
Anyone that knows me, would know that I am a sucker for comfort; If I could - I would wear pyjamas everywhere, in fact, sometimes I more or less do. I love that they wear their crocs and slippers in school, it makes them feel more at home and also ensures the school stays clean, which in turn teaches them to have respect for property, which is great. It also takes away any competition about trainers and who has the best, most expensive pair, which is something I remember happening in my high school.

The timings and break system in Austrian schools
The Austrian schooling system is on to a complete winner with their timetables. The students start earlier so between 7:00 and 8:00 am and finish at around 13:25 pm. It's great because it means they get to go home and actually spend time with their parents, it means they get more sunshine and thus more vitamin D and it means they do not waste their whole day being institutionalised. They have a five or ten minute break between every lesson and one twenty minute break at around 9:30 to have something to eat or drink. It's wonderful because the kids get constant breathers, and so do the teachers! Lots of the schools had ping-pong tables and table football so the students could play in their break times too, which I thought was a really great, positive touch.

 That one naughty kid in every class (usually called Elias)
In every class I taught in Austria there was always a little naughty one called Elias. They always seemed to be cheeky and mischievous with cute little faces which made disciplining them even harder. I don't know what it was about little Elias's but they were always the loudest, naughtiest, yet most entertaining characters in each class. I am genuinely considering calling my son Elias If I have one now because of this too. In the words of Marylyn 'It is far better to be absolutely ridiculous then it is to be absolutely boring' and I whole-heartedly agree!

Peace out Potatoes! xo


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