The chain school run by the Yank.


I can’t remember the name of this school now because I only worked for them very briefly. I was given a telephone interview only. Apparently, they were a firm that liked to use games to learn English but they didn’t inform me at all as to their philosophy so I was pretty much unaware of what they had promised the client in terms of a lesson. He sent me a few books which had nothing to do with gaming anyway. They were totally disorganised if not well meaning. The school was organised as a franchise with various independent language teachers running services in the town or city you were working in. Wuppertal didn’t have a franchise owner at the time which is presumably why they were interested.


Walther Spritz und Lackier.


Situated in Vohwinkel was a firm was the oddly named Walther Spritz und Lackier which means Walther injection and Lacquer but it’s very weird as a name in German becuase of the proximity of the word spritzen to Lackier the world abspritzen means to come sexually. Walther‘s come and lacker is what I always think of them as. I think it was deliberately perverse. How German! When you went in there were some very odd looking chemical contraptions on display like the brainbox in Cold Lazarus. All the staff wore mathcing blue suits and the manager was deliberately classed as an intermediate becuase he was the boss and he couldn’t even tell the time. I wasn’t told that they weer promised lessons focussing on a strict diet of ELT games which they never told me about so I stepped my foot in it lecturing them on learning strategies (even though the boss had given me set books and only interviewed me on the phone and never face to face.) Conseqently, due to the lack of communication I was officially despatched after 2 lessons solid for allowing my shirt to come untucked from my trousers when reaching up to use a flipchart. Weirdest people I ever worked for they were like Frankensteins lab and thought equally badly of me. Boy, were they up tight.


Independent Individual Pupils

Frau Narusz

Frau Narusz was an independent student and friend of my dance teacher Mrs Jankowska that worked for the opera and theatre company Wuppertaler Bühnen. They are the main theatre and opera company in the city established probably in the 19th century. She lived in a very big ground floor apartment and obviously had a wealthy partner whom I never met or sponsor or got lots of additional solo work because the wage in the opera choir even in the relatively rich times was only about nine-hundred-and-seventy-five Euros a month. I taught her for about ten lessons or so, just very basic English based on her needs which was for basic conversational English. I made my own materials for her classes. I can’t remember what she paid me probably the going rate of fifteen Euros an hour. Here is the lesson plan and an example of the materials I used for Frau Narusz.


How I did Frau Narusz’s classes


I made little conversations up to do with various topics and cut them up and she had to order the conversation then read it for a few minutes and try and remember the vocabulary. Then I’d give her the same conversation first as a cloze text and then as a gramaticization. That means the same conversation was printed with some words and phrases missing and she had to put them in and then the same conversation appeared as ungrammatical and she had to notice where the grammatical mistakes were and check the answers off against the original. Then we’d analyse them and do a bit of grammar. It gives the students a chance to repeat vocabulary and notice it and grammatical structures as you go along.


Psychology Post Doc student


From Frau Narusz I got to know of a Psychology post doc student who needed me to review his dissertation for him. I knew this was hot stuff so I was cheeky and asked him for forty Euros an hour for my expert knowledge in English for Academic Purposes and he gave it to me but he only met me for a couple of sessions. We just discussed certain bits of vocabulary he had used. He didn’t need much. He said that the psychology department at the University of Wuppertal (Bergish University) didn’t have the greatest reputation of all time but he said his door was always open if students had questions including outside of office hours which I found exceptionally generous of him.


Titus Heidemann


Titus Heidemann was my exe's first love.  Titus was a Thomaner which is a very prestigious thing in Leipzig. A Thomaner is a boy scholar at St Thomas’s Church in Leipzig and a pupil at St Thomas’s J.S. Bach grammar school and a member of the original Bach choir that J.S. Bach himself once conducted. It’s an all-male top line boy trebles and countertenors like at my school Chapel Choir at the time. If you are a boy scholar at St Thomas’s you are famous for life “Einmal Thomaner, Immer Thomaner” and they sing all over the world. Titus wanted English to travel and visit the other Aussie in Australia. So I gave him a few lessons. When he came for his lesson at my house I was very messy and piled everything into a corner and put my duvet on top which always intrigued him. he is now quite a famous pupil of mine as assistant conductor of the Choir of St Thomas's Leipzig.


Helmut Niemayer

Helmut Niemayer were a tools manufacturer I had to reach for classes about one hour away in Remscheid Röntgen by public transport. Because of the medication I was on at the time I never woke up before eleven am so it was nearly impossible for me. I chose to use a business textbook for the classes, a standard one and it wasn’t their thing. I lost the class after a few sessions. They didn’t really feel they were making enough progress. The class was working for Kern AG as an independent business English teacher in company without a boss. It just didn’t work for some reason. I decided to take decisive action and invest in self-improvement for the future of my career.