Let’s Talk About German Thanksgiving!

Prost! Or “cheers” in English, is what all the Germans say during the autumn festivals of thanks known as Erntedank. While Erntedank is not a direct match to the American holiday of Thanksgiving, it is the closest thing that Germany and other German-speaking countries have. Thanksgiving is celebrated in American on one day out of the year with a large feast and a gathering of friends and family. Often the day includes parades, sporting matches and general displays of gratitude and togetherness. Many Americans across the country even eat versions of the same meal, with turkey, cranberry sauce, bread stuffing and other casseroles making an appearance on many tables.

So how does the tradition of Enterdank in Germany compare to its American cousin? Let’s check it out:

  1. Erntedank does not take place on one day, it is more of an autumn festival period that is usually celebrated over September and October, and sometimes November in some regions.
  2. Erntedank also includes Oktoberfest and any Halloween-related celebrations that some German regions may have as well.
  3. There are not many special traditional foods that Germans eat during Erntedank, but turkey or goose usually make an appearance!

Let’s Talk About German-American Day

On National German-American Day we celebrate the German heritage that millions of people claim in this country. This day was first designated with a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan on October 6th, 1983. Reagan’s proclamation marked the 300 year anniversary since the first German settlers landed in the original thirteen colonies. These settlers were a group of Mennonite families from Krefeld who made their home in 1683 in the area that is now Philadelphia. Germantown, so named by the Mennonite settlers, is still a thriving community in Philadelphia today.

If you’re a German expatriate living in American or you can claim German heritage, this day is for you. Celebrate the day by sharing the German food, language and customs that you love with friends and family. If you live in the Phoenix Valley, you might want to visit the Old Heidelberg Bakery in Central Phoenix or Haus Murphy’s in Glendale.

We’d also love to hear how you experience or celebrate your German heritage on German-American Day, and the rest of the year too! And if you’d like to brush up on your German skills, sign-up for classes at German School Phoenix!

German Unity Day

Every October 3rd, all of Germany and German citizens around the world come together to celebrate German Unity Day, or Tag der Deutschen Einheit. This is Germany’s National Day and is celebrated as a public holiday. Cities across the country throw lavish celebrations with festivals and fireworks displays, while one city is nominated to hold a larger, national celebration. Berlin in particular tends to hold the largest celebrations in the country. Typical host cities in recent years have been Potsdam, Kiel, Berlin, Mainz, Dresden and Frankfurt.

German Unity Day is an official celebration of Germany’s reunification in 1990. On that day, East and West Germany were brought together as one country once again. The collapse of the Berlin Wall a year earlier in 1989 symbolized the spark that would end the Cold War and reunite the country for good. Although months of demonstrations and political discussions followed the fall, Germany completed unification with a treaty signed on October 3rd.

As students of the German language and culture, we all love to learn about and appreciate Germany’s successes, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall. German School Phoenix is also part of the larger Germany community in Arizona, which includes many native speakers and German expatriates. We hope everyone had a wonderful German Unity Day!

Now Hiring: Part-Time German Teachers!

We have an exciting opportunity at the German School Phoenix! We have openings for part-time German teaching positions for our Fall Semester. Read on if you’re interested or know someone who might be!

GSP is looking for teachers of all class levels – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The ideal applicant should be a native/native-fluent German speaker with some experience teaching adults or children. We are looking for applicants who can engage our students in all aspects of the German language and culture in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. This is a great opportunity for retired or established teachers who want a side gig, or new or aspiring teachers who are just starting out!

Teachers can expect to work roughly 3 to 4 hours a week. Classes are held in-person at our location in Tempe, Arizona on Saturday mornings. Compensation is hourly depending on experience.

Fill out an application at the link below, or forward it to a friend! We look forward to hearing from you:

German School Phoenix Teaching Application

German School Updates!

It’s another blazing summer in the Valley of the Sun! Temperatures have reached over 115, eggs are cooking on sidewalks, and everyone’s just trying to make it through. The German School Phoenix has some pretty exciting updates!

  • The second half of our Summer Conversational Classes are well under way and everyone’s having a blast! These classes are conversational only, with the intention for students to have fun and use the skills developed in regular classes.
Get ready for in-person German Classes again!
Get ready for in-person German Classes again!
  • We are getting close to the start of our Fall Semester on August 21st! Classes will be held in-person at our regular location. The date to pay tuition without a late fee is fast approaching on July 22nd.
  • We’ve recently had the pleasure of hiring a local Marketing Assistant to take GSP to the next level! Her name is Ruth Brown and she lives in Glendale, AZ with her four dogs. She’ll be helping GSP with some new events and programs. Feel free to reach out to her by emailing ruth@germanschoolphoenix.org.

Most exciting of all, we can’t wait to see you in the Fall! Stay tuned for more updates.

Now Hiring: Local Marketing Assistant

German School Phoenix, Tempe, Arizona

The German School Phoenix is actively looking for a marketing specialist to join the staff of this well-established German-language program. Emphasis will be on assisting with the marketing efforts of the school in collaboration and in concert with the Marketing Manager.

The ideal candidate will assist with marketing programs. The candidate will create materials as directed by the Marketing Manager and/or school leadership and coordinate with other staff to help brand awareness and generate more student registrations.

Job Description

  • Hours: 6-10 hours per week
  • Starting Date: June 1st, 2021
  • Location: work from home & on location
  • Compensation: $15/hr+ DOE

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing or equivalent experience


  • 1-2 years marketing experience

Sound interesting? Please send your CV and a cover letter to info@germanschoolphoenix.org — we look forward to hearing from you!

Now Hiring: Part-Time German Teacher

German School Phoenix, Tempe, Arizona

The German School Phoenix is looking for a native/native-fluent German speaker to join the staff of this well-established German-language program.
Emphasis will be on engaging adults or children of all ages in all aspects of German language and culture, all in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

The ideal applicant should have a college/university degree and some experience teaching adults or children. A degree in German is desired, but not required. A background in teaching German as a second language is preferred. The German School Phoenix offers classes for all language level from absolute Beginner to Advanced conversational German.

Job Description

  • Hours: 2-4 hours per week; 2 hours between 10 am and 2:15 pm (2 hour classes)
  • Starting Date: As soon as possible
  • Location: work from home and/or on location
  • Compensation: hourly compensation; $30+/in-class hour (DOE)

Qualifications & Requirements

  • College/university degree
  • Native-level fluency in the German language (speaking, reading, writing, Grammar).


  • Experience teaching adults or children
  • German preferred
  • Passion for education, learning, German language and culture

Sound interesting? Please send your CV and a cover letter to info@germanschoolphoenix.org – we look forward to hearing from you!

Now Hiring: Executive Director

German School Phoenix, Tempe, Arizona

The German School Phoenix is actively looking for a native/native-fluent German speaker to join the staff of this well-established German-language program — more information at http://germanschoolphoenix.org . Emphasis will be on managing day-to-day activities of the school.

The ideal candidate will use a strategic mindset to drive the future success of the school by executing on its vision and mission. With responsibility for all program areas, the candidate will execute all areas of need for the organization including management in the following areas: fiscal, operational, program development, community relations, and board relations.

Job Description

The executive director manages the daily operation in line with the direction given by the Board of Directors.

  • Hours: 7-10 hours per week
  • Starting Date: immediate
  • Location: work from home & on location
  • Compensation: DOE & performance-based, $35+/hr

Your Responsibilities

  • Annually create a strategic organizational plan and overall budget
  • Maintain a climate that attracts and retains a talented and diverse staff
  • Create and maintain relationships with individuals and organizations
    to facilitate success of organization’s financial future
  • Prepare agendas, reports, and materials for board meetings

Qualifications & Requirements

  • College/university degree
  • Experience working at non-profit organization


  • Experience teaching adults or children
  • College-level classes in German and/or business
  • Certificate in nonprofit management is preferred
  • Previous management or executive director experience
  • Successful fundraising and development experience

Sound interesting? Please send your CV and a cover letter to info@germanschoolphoenix.org – we look forward to hearing from you!


The New Swan Stone Castle.  Probably one of the most famous castles ever built / not finished.  A crazy king + romantic architecture + alpine mountains + Disney magic (Sleeping Beauty’s castle) = a wildly popular destination.

The princess in all of us.

150 years ago, Ludwig the 2nd retreated away from politics and society to focus on his passion, building castles in the romantic architecture style.  Unfortunately his passions to accurately reproduce romantic architecture with the most modern of 19th century conveniences, cost a lot of money.   7 unfinished castles later, found Ludwig in debt to his own country with a price tag of 22 million Marks.  Making the politicians and his family terribly nervous with his reckless spending, Ludwig was declared insane by several well respected physicians who interviewed everyone except Ludwig himself.  Once he was declared unfit to rule the country, it was only a matter of time before his dreadful drowning “accident”.

Magic carriage ride to the top.

Today, the state of Bavaria turns a very nice profit on all of these majestic castles.  6000 people walk through Neuschwanstein each and every day of the year.  Not even counting the people who just stop and take pictures.  In addition to his mothers castle, Hohenschwangau that sits “across the street” there is also a town and museums that have sprung up to support the tourism that drives the region.  Bavaria may just need to thank Ludwig after all.

Read the DW article here.


Vacation Time

We are still on summer vacation.  We started late (last day of school was July 12) and we get 6 1/2  weeks for the summer. 1 more week before the kids head back to school and I can finally clean the house and it will stay clean (for 4 hours)!!! Well, at least theoretically that will all happen. Lol

Vacation in Germany is a huge perk of living here. Not just the time the kids have but the time that M gets off of work. His company gives him 30 days of vacation, which is the normal amount. Some companies give only 25 days, but those companies can find it hard to hire people. Germans love their vacation. So, 30 days is not including weekends which really means its about 6 weeks of vacation time EACH YEAR!

You are actually required to take a main vacation in the year as well. You must be gone 2 weeks in a row or you didn’t actually take a proper vacation.

Plus, there are a ton of holidays here. There is no separation of Church and State here. Good Friday, Easter Monday? It’s a holiday. Christ ascension into heaven – Holiday. It lands on a Thursday? Work 15 minutes longer and earn a bridge day, so you don’t have to use up a vacation day on Friday. That makes a nice long weekend, and you didn’t even use a vacation day.

My favorite part is – if you get sick on your vacation, go to the doctor for a note and you can actually get sick time instead of vacation time. So you don’t loose out on your vacation!

I’ve tried explaining we only get 2 weeks a year in the states. People here are horrified. Then I try explaining PTO time, where my sick day is actually docked as a vacation day or simply paid time off. Most people don’t believe me. They honestly think I make that up.

I have to admit, I love this part of being here in Germany. We took a week vacation at Spring break. The kids had 2 weeks off of school. We took our 2 weeks over the summer and toured around Germany. We will spend a week in the Fall heading north and we are still coming to Arizona for Christmas for 2 weeks.

There is a small catch though. There’s always a catch, right? You have to really focus on when the kids have off of school. Right now K’s kindergarten (pre-school) is actually shut down so all the teachers get a 3 week summer break. If I worked, we would either have to take our vacation time right now, or stagger it so we could be home with the kids.

And because R gets 2 weeks for fall, Christmas and spring break, there is no leeway to taking her out a day early or bringing her back a day late. They actually FINE you if you don’t have your child in school before or after a holiday break (unless you have that doctors note). They are very strict on education, so you need to be in school.

But that’s ok. There is enough rest time here, down time. We are learning to vacation. 6 weeks a year and I hope to see so much more of Europe!   There are so many places on my list! Paris is only 5 hours away; Luxemburg is 3 hours by car… And M wants to lie on a beach somewhere when there are so many cool cities and museums to explore. We might need more time after all.

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