Internship at Schulzentrum Walle

For my internship in Bremen, I worked with the Schulzentrum Walle, a high school in an area of the city. For this project, I teamed up with a student who had been a teaching assistant at Dickinson as well as many student teachers.

In the school in Walle, my job was to assist a student teacher who was currently enrolled in the University of Bremen. Together, we helped students who struggled with writing. In our group were around six boys, many of whom spoke German as a second language. Many nationalities were represented in our group, including German, Turkish, Russian, and Sri Lankan. As I (an American) also spoke German as a second language, I got to be a student and a teaching assistant at the same time! Together, the student teacher and I helped the students prepare for their end of year tests and their Abitur (the German equivalent of the SATs/final exams of high school to determine placement into universities.) The specific area of focus for our group involved Erörterung or forming cohesive arguments. Together, we discussed the difference between premise, thesis, fact, opinion, and conclusion. The students in the group read articles with topics such as “The Internet has an Overall Negative Effect on Humans” or “European Union Inaction Toward Refugees is Purposeful Murder.” From these articles, the teacher and I helped the students pick out pro- and counterarguments from these academic papers and to argue for one side or the other. This was practice that would then come in handy for their upcoming exams.

The students were very kind to me and asked me many questions about America. One student called me “American Boy!” whenever he saw me in the hallways. Another student even asked me questions in English after one session, because he had to interview a visitor to Germany for a class project.

Ezra Sassaman