“My students love me. A great feeling that I always give back.”
After I quit my previous job in May 2010, I was looking for new ways to earn a living without losing too much of my precious time on this earth. Working 9 to 5 is the standard for most people and certainly pays well, but being a creative mind like I am, you need surprisingly much free time to express yourself. I did not want an endless cycle of eat-work-sleep but something where I could use my skills.
Thanks to a bilingual upbringing, German and English are my two native languages which I both use on a daily basis. Deciding to become a private tutor was not an easy decision. It involved getting a German trade licence, securing a solid client base and in the end hand in a tax declaration each year. April 2012 marked the launch of my business which I had named “Speak Up!”.
My workplace is the city of Braunschweig, Germany. I give private lessons at the home of my students because that is where they feel most at ease which makes them learn better. At the moment, I am guiding 13 students through their learning process. Some of them have been with me since I started giving lessons and they are soon approaching their final exams. Apart from a few exceptions, all of my students have been long-term clients and they appreciate getting more than just the plain English grammar rules. With me, they learn the English that will really help them in their later life instead of the basic German “School English”. Not only that. Whenever needed, I also give them an insight into British history and politics as well as the Royal Family. Every year, my students and I write a Christmas Card to a member of the Royal Family. We have always received very nice replies.
What I love about working with young adults is that most of them really work hard to achieve their goals. They show you that the support you provide is valued. Each student is different and they all have individual skillsets that I can strengthen or expand. Good marks in tests or exams give them a sense of achievement and I always acknowledge their efforts with small rewards such as cinema vouchers, books or sweets. I find that very important. Additionally, I profit greatly from not being a boring professor-type tutor but always being good for a laugh and teaching everyone at eye level.
Naturally, I teach adults as well. Some need English for their job, others for holidays or simply to be able to master the language. I find it remarkable how some started out with nothing and were able to engage in a lively conversation after just four months. It might seem pretty long, but it is really more challenging than you might think.
In the end, I have achieved what I set out to do: having a job that fulfills me and makes my life richer than any office job could. No day in the week is ever the same – I never get bored doing what I do!