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Chill mal, Frau Freitag [Chill out, Mrs Friday] (Frau Freitag)

Friday, 22. February 2013

Chill mal, Frau Freitag is a book with collected blog entries by Frau Freitag [both links in German], a pseudonym for a teacher from Berlin who writes about her experiences in a high school in a rather difficult area in Berlin.

Chill mal, Frau Freitag is a quick and entertaining read, though I’d say the whole thing is not without its issues. In any case it is a fascinating look into the daily life of a teacher and the problems they face with their students, particularly if said students don’t come form a particularly well-educated background and face discrimination because of their family background all the time.

chillmalfraufreitag

I got this book from my sister who happens to be a teacher in Berlin. She said that the book caused quite a fuss there, which I can see. And I think that my sister also recognized a lot of the situations in the book from her own routine.

And Frau Freitag does have a good sense of humor about the whole thing. Her writing, if not perfect, is very dynamic and lets her rather bubbly, energetic personality shine through.

But as I sais, the whole thing is not without its issues. Frau Freitag uses a pseudonym herself and she also gives her students and colleagues different names. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t recognizable. I do think that her students or people working with her would have no problem figuring out who she’s talking about. And as soon as that happens, the whole privacy issue becomes very problematic. Especially since not everything she writes is particularly flattering.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to get such an unsparing look at the realities of teaching life. And it’s probably also important because it shows how far said realities are from what is planned by education laws and the system in general.

Summarising: not a literary masterpiece, but if the (German) education system is of interest to you, you should give it a try.

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