German interns learn about American schools, children

Sharon Emerling, Story and photos
Landstuhl Elementary and Middle School teacher

***image1***Students from the Sickingen Gymnasium Landstuhl school spent two weeks as interns at Landstuhl Elementary and Middle School in January.

The 15 students, all in the 11th grade, came to work as teacher aides.
“This is a tremendous example of Host Nation partnerships,” said Dr. George Carpenter, LEMS school principal. “It benefits everyone, and we are proud to be participating.”

The German school requires students to do internships. Several of the 15 visiting students are planning to become teachers, both elementary and high school, when they graduate in 2008.

Others chose to visit LEMS for an opportunity to speak English for the entire day.
German students said it was difficult, at first, to speak only English and they were tired at the end of the day.  

“I even found that it was hard to switch back to German when
I got home,” said German student Liliana Salimov. “Some words,
***image2***like ‘keyboard,’ I only know in English now.”

LEMS teacher Amy Peaceman, sponsor of the visit and second grade German Immersion teacher, said the program is in its tenth year.

“The teachers here at the American school really enjoy the opportunity to work with the young people, and the students enjoy a tremendous benefit in the chance to interact with older students from the host nation,” she said.

German students said they no-ticed the close relationship between the students and the teachers.

“They really know each other very well,” said German student Ingrid Kabeya. “That is different than in the German schools.”

Third-grade teacher Mellie Buerkle said she was pleased
with the German students’ work. Her classroom aide, Christina Heinz,  gave tests, taught lessons and worked on papers.

“I’ll miss her when it’s time for her to leave,” Ms. Buerkle said.