Name: Birgit A. Ertl
School: The Children’s Garden
Job Title: Founder and director, author of ICLCA - International Curriculum for Languages and Creative Arts
Where did you go to school?
I studied mainly in Austria, but also studied in America and Oxford in the UK, where the education style and the teachers were noticeably very different in terms of their style and approach. I loved my studies in Austria because they were very open to allowing all the children to simply be themselves.
What was your favourite subject?
I was very much the curious and creative one in my class, and quite confident as a small child too, so my favourite subjects were always the creative classes. I loved to draw and to paint and to express myself with colour so my love of art was fostered at a very young age. I also really adored geography too. I was always and still am very curious about the world we live in and love to travel.
What was your least favourite?
Funnily enough it was maths and German that were really my least favourite subjects. I guess, I was not alone there, but I just didn’t seem to have a lot of fun in those lessons and it didn’t capture my imagination either, so in a way, I hated those lessons back then. Later on I really had to work very hard to apply myself, especially in the languages later on in life. I learnt English when I was adult and found it hard to learn.
Did you have a favourite teacher?
Like most children, I just loved kindergarten and my primary school. Everything seems to change when you go to high school, but I was always very fond of one teacher in particular, Ms. Erika Schranz. Now having been in education for so many years, I think she was one of the few teachers who really understood my talents and strengths.
Were you good or naughty?
I am not going to admit to being naughty at school! Actually, I was very good. I don’t believe children are really naughty. Just curious and mischievous maybe!
What was the naughtiest thing you did at school?
I actually skipped school once for two days because I wanted to test my courage.
What’s your happiest memory from your school days?
Now when I look back at my school days, I realise that I have so many fond memories. Best of all where the friendships I formed in school and still have today. Many of my friends are all living in different countries and occasionally when we get together we have a lot of fun talking about the good times we had on different field trips.
Naturally, coming from Austria I have a love of skiing too. We were all natural skiers and it’s still something I love to do while on vacation.
What about your worst one?
My worst memory of school was failing my guitar exam. I wasn’t particularly musical as a child, although I was totally captivated by classical music as I grew up with it. I had to perform “Fuer Elise” on guitar. Imagine a child of 14 years of age having to recite one of Beethoven’s most popular compositions without sheet music. I was nervous!