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Elizabeth Birmingham is an interesting mix of humour, intelligence, grace and common sense.

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She has been with the Nelson Mandela School from the very start and it is thanks to her that we have a primary school at all. As one of the pillars of the school, she first started out as a primary teacher and later became the Acting Head of Primary. Later on, after achieving a doctorate during her sabbatical, she decided to transfer to Middle School and Upper Secondary where she not only taught English from grades 7- 13 but also SOCs (social sciences) and then later on geography.

Elizabeth was also a member of the group of men and women who fought and negotiated for the rights of the International teachers. It is thanks to her and many of the people, teachers and parents that participated at that time, that International teachers are being better paid today.

Elizabeth has this diplomatic way of voicing concerns and communicating advice that saves face, binds colleagues, friends and students to her in the most artful and adorable way. That is why for many years she was voted by the students as their “Vertrauenslehrerin”.

One of my most precious memories with her was the one I received from her on our way to school together one day. I remember being stressed out and bone-tired as I had been working long hours and not getting much sleep. I was worried that it was beginning to affect my work.

Her advice to me was one that I follow to this day: “Honey! the best thing to do now is to get some solid sleep and tomorrow everything will fall into place. You´ll see!”

Particularly for the English department, she has always been a good friend and advisor as well as a respected colleague by all. On behalf of my colleagues I would like to thank her for her long years in service and tell her that we are all sorry that this will be her final year at the Nelson Mandela School.

Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach.

— Aristotle

Written by

Nihal Adler

Head of English

Welcome to the NMS

The Nelson Mandela School is a diverse international bilingual state school for students from grade 1 to 13. Students can choose to graduate with either the bilingual Abitur or the International Baccalaureate (IB).

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15.07.2020 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin