Teaching in Switzerland

So I've spent the last 75 days as an Elementary School Teacher. Does that sound weird to you? It still sounds so weird to me. But there it is. And I've surprised myself by loving it.

I teach English as an additional language (EAL) at a boarding school here in Switzerland. But my kids, the young kids, don't board here, they just come for the day like any old Elementary School and their older brothers and sister board, as in live, eat, and sleep here.

The campus is spread out over several blocks and feels and functions much like a university campus. There's an admissions building, an IT building, a library, a dining hall, the headmasters quarters, wait, is that different? Anyway, the kids, even the elementary kids, spend each period learning a different subject from a different teacher in a different room and a different building. Like high  school they have a homeroom period at the beginning and end of the day. And we teachers rotate around teaching different subjects too.

I have a classroom with a desk and a computer and all my things, but I only actually only teach one class in there. I also teach a class upstairs from my room, one down the street from my room in the pre-K, kindergarten, and first grade building called Focolare, and one across the street and up some stairs in middle school territory in a building called Aurora. My classes include kids from first through fifth grade. And then at the end of the day I have bus duty lining kids up and getting them on buses to go home.

One of my classes is very beginner with two native Italian speaking lads. It has probably been the funniest and most entertaining class for obvious reasons. I have one intermediate group of first graders and then two advanced classes, one comprised of second and third grade and the other, my  last period class, full of fourth and fifth graders. This last period class merits a post of its own.
Turns out the worst part about this whole gig was just how quickly it went by. And the hardest part was actually walking away and letting someone else be their teacher. I'll miss these kids more than I thought I would. Cause on my first day teaching I would have sworn that my last day teaching would be my favorite. I'm happy to be wrong on that count.

**My replacement told me that those two Italians boys, they cried all through class the day after I left. Um, just picture my heart melting into a giant pool on the floor!

And here are a few snapshots of it all.


  1. this is so precious! what a fun experience! are you coming back to the US already?! hope all is well!

    1. It's been an amazing experience! We will be coming home on Nov. 25, but it has all gone by much too quickly!

  2. Tell us more! I love hearing about it all. How do you teach English to kids who don't know English when you don't know their language?

    1. Baha! You are insatiable Brittany! We will have to do a big dinner when we get home and we can tell you all about it in person! :) then you can ask me tons of questions and I will explain everything.


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