"Teaching German is my passion" – Interview with Maren König, incoming German Teacher Abroad in Winnipeg
Maren König is the incoming German Teacher Abroad in Winnipeg, sent by the Central Agency for Schools Abroad.
(© German Consulate Toronto)
Maren König is the new German Teacher Abroad in Winnipeg - one of about 2,000 teachers employed and sent by the German Central Agency for Schools Abroad (Zentralstelle für Auslandsschulwesen, ZfA). She will be teaching German as a second language to Winnipeg students for at least two years. During her employment abroad, she receives support in organizational and pedagogical matters from the ZfA.
Maren König is born and raised in Germany and spent most of her school years in North Rhine-Westphalia. In Germany she teaches German and English languages at a German Gymnasium (i.e. a secondary school), and is now very much looking forward to teach German as a second language in Winnipeg, where she will be serving four German-English bilingual schools of the River East Transcona School Division (Donwood Elementary School, Princess Margaret School, Chief Peguis Junior High and River East Collegiate).
This is her first assignment as German teacher abroad.
Did you have a choice of where you would be posted and if so, why did you choose Canada?
I could choose a region of preference, and I chose North America because of my love for the continent. I really wanted to spent some time here and represent the German culture, and to pass on my passion for German language to North American students. When I got the offer to go to Winnipeg I applied, I did the interviews, and now I am here.
How did you prepare for your Canadian adventure?
Actually I am still in the process of preparing (laughs). There was a lot of support from the German Central Agency for Schools Abroad; they made sure that I got a lot of education and information, I visited seminars to be prepared and familiar with the Canadian culture. I also have been in touch with my predecessor, Ulla In Der Stroth. I read a lot, I am in touch with the headmaster of the school, and I also use Pasch-net to make sure that I am up to date.
How important is the German language to compete internationally, and how will you prepare your students for the international job market?
German is my passion. I love to speak my language. German gives you a lot of ways to express yourself and to play with words, especially in literature. There are also economic reasons - German is still the language spoken by almost 100 million native speakers in Europe.
As I am passionate about my language I believe I can give this passion to my students and make sure they can communicate in my mother tongue.
What do you think you’ll miss most about Germany?
I was afraid that I would miss German bread, because whenever I spent time abroad I missed bread a lot. But then I read that there are many German bakeries in Winnipeg. So now I believe I will mostly miss my family, especially my brother, so whom I am very close.