March 16, 2021
Cypress Ridge High School German Teacher Bettina Albermann created a virtual library for her students after learning Book Creator over the summer. Book subjects are Afro-German politicians, athletes, musicians and other notable figures.
March 16, 2021—Cypress Ridge High School German Teacher Bettina Albermann was recognized in February by the Goethe-Institute, Germany’s governmental culture organization that promotes the study of Germany and the use of the German language across the world. Albermann, who created a virtual library highlighting notable Afro-Germans for her students, saw one of her digital books highlighted in the institute’s bi-monthly class material available to teachers.
The idea started as Albermann simply wanting to better prepare herself for remote teaching and nontraditional forms of instruction going into the 2020-2021 school year. She took classes over the summer, including one on Book Creator, an online application that helps educators create, read and share eBooks.
Then came a discussion on a Facebook group tied to the American Association for Teachers of German.
“It came up that we didn’t really have a lot of literature representing minorities in Germany,” Albermann said. “So that’s when I thought that maybe I could do something.”
Albermann’s book subjects are Afro-German politicians, athletes, musicians and other notable figures. In addition to researching the material and writing the biographies, Albermann also narrates each one in German for her students to follow along.
Her virtual library grew to 18 books and is available through her teaching homepage.
Cypress Ridge High School German Teacher Bettina Albermann was honored by the Goethe-Institute after creating a virtual library highlighting notable Afro-Germans for her students. The institute is Germany’s governmental culture organization that promotes the study of Germany across the world.
“I wanted to have more comprehensive material for the students so that’s why I started writing the books,” said Albermann, who was born and raised in Germany.
After sharing her work with other German teachers, word spread through social media. In February, someone in the Facebook group recommended Albermann’s library to the Goethe-Institute.
The virtual book selected was on Aminata Touré, a German politician first elected at 25 years old and currently serving as vice president of Landtag, a representative assembly for the states of Germany. Touré’s parents fled to Germany from Mali in 1991 and she wasn’t granted German citizenship until she was 12 years old despite being born in the country.
The institute put together a learning worksheet based on Touré and Albermann’s book and includes a link to her library.
“All of these people have overcome some sort of challenge, so it’s more about inspiring my students. That was my intention—how can this help you overcome your difficulties when you see that other people can do it too?” Albermann said. “Our comprehensive input readers may not talk about them, but I wanted to make sure the students had some other information where they could learn about the real Germany, which is quite multicultural,”