The shortage of German teachers, who will fill the gap?

Early in the morning, Lina wore her braids, put on a pink skirt, and carried a large school bag. On the first day of school, she stood nervously on campus and started a new phase of her life. Her class teacher, Barbara Bergona-Finke, 45, also stood on the podium for the first time. In the process of doing extracurricular music enlightenment for kindergarten and elementary school children, Fink discovered his love for teaching. “In the process of dealing with children, I have accumulated a lot of experience.” As a mother of four children, she is confident about this. But she has no teacher qualifications and no relevant internship experience, and these are the key prerequisites for becoming a qualified elementary school teacher. Despite this, she still became Lina’s teacher because there was no other way. Thousands of primary and secondary school teachers are missing in North Rhine-Westphalia. Duisburg City alone needs to recruit 200 new teachers, but currently only 77 are recruited. Therefore, the principal Anke Rick was also very happy to be able to take Fink under his command. Fink has received a year of educational theory and practical training for this purpose, and is currently responsible for teaching mathematics, German, and common sense.

The situation in Duisburg is not alone. In fact, whether in North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin, or Saxony, Germany is facing this problem. According to the German Teachers Association, a total of 40,000 teachers need to be recruited across Germany. Even those states with relatively superior conditions, such as Bavaria and Bavaria, are not optimistic. And then, the problem will become more serious.

It is estimated that the teacher shortage in North Rhine-Westphalia will peak in 2021, and it will be around 2025 in Germany. By that time, 60,000 teachers had retired in elementary school alone, and in such a short period of time, it was impossible to cultivate enough teachers to fill the vacancy. In Germany, teachers need to receive 7-8 years of professional education before going to the podium.

The worrying status quo has made teacher hiring policies extremely creative. Some school recruitment posters say that teaching is a “decent job” or “if you want to find a stable job, be our teacher!” Luring, teachers’ salaries have also risen overall. Retired teachers have delayed their retirement and returned to the classroom. Students who are determined to teach are also sent to the podium as quickly as possible. In Berlin, some pedagogical students have been teaching part-time in elementary and middle schools while they were in school.

When schools lack teachers, orchestral and other courses are often forced to cancel.

Since the German Minister of Culture announced in 2013 that the use of transfer teachers as the last resort to deal with teacher shortages, transfer teachers have become standard in primary and secondary schools across Germany. Of the 1921 newly hired teachers in Lower Saxony, 245 come from other industries, and even 100 out of 420 in Saan. There is nothing worse than the situation in Berlin. New teachers who have studied pedagogy accounted for only 1/3 of the total, and even just over 1/10 in primary school. Most of the new teachers have “not enough teaching ability”.

In this way, Germany opened the largest pedagogical experiment after the war. Even if these new teachers are full of enthusiasm and knowledge, there are still some difficult questions: What kind of risks will this emergency operation of rushing to the post bring to the future of education for students, parents and the entire country? For example, social division may be deepened. Children from wealthy families may apply for additional tutoring. Children from poor families will get worse and worse because of insufficient school teachers.

The 49-year-old Berliner Florian Kramer is well aware of the embarrassing situation of changing teachers. “I have been attacked by all parties in the society.” He studied music and operated a music school for many years. He was very happy with this job, but he also wanted to try something new. Why can’t I be a middle school teacher? Today, Kramer has been teaching music and sociology in a middle school for two years, with 14 lessons per week.

The teacher shortage in North Rhine-Westphalia will peak in 2021, and Germany will probably be in 2025.

The contract signed with the school stated that Kramer had an obligation to continue education and improve teaching ability. So this Friday morning, he and four others sat in the school discussion room. Kramer is much older than the others, and three of them are fresh graduates. Professional vocabulary such as “teaching goal-oriented” and “teaching process” are not new to them, but Kramer heard it for the first time because he had not studied pedagogy.

Clay defaulted that his strengths were practical experience and his passion for music. He plays a variety of instruments and is a member of the band. “I will talk about these experiences in class.” Education experts believe that his disadvantage lies in the lack of pedagogy knowledge. Education majors require at least 10 semesters to complete their courses. One-third of the time is listening to lectures, participating in discussion classes, and studying issues related to pedagogy, methodology, and pedagogy. Teachers’ associations are even criticizing, this kind of learning time is still not enough. These teachers also need to learn to deal with the problems that arise in the daily teaching: for example, how to deal with students with learning disabilities? What should I do when a student has a conflict? Or the most basic-how to score?

To date, no one has studied the impact of these transfer teacher courses on students. Educational researcher Klaus Columb saw a huge risk from it: “If our teachers have neither received professional education in the teaching subject, nor pedagogy background, the quality of teaching is likely to decline.” The layman may bring The value of experience and perspective can therefore become jurors in German courts, but they can never replace professional judges who are familiar with the law. In German primary and secondary schools, laymen are doing professional work. How long this strategy will last is unknown. Colum said: “Many transfer teachers will leave within six months. When they realize that they can’t play tennis after noon, when the parents of the students keep calling them, or when the children have trouble dealing with it, the school’s The flow of people will be very frequent.” At the same time, the situation in the labor market is very tense, and schools have to fight for even teachers.

Experts worry that the overall performance of German secondary school graduates will decline in the next few years, and the first signs have already appeared. According to data released by the German Institute of Economics in 2018, the fourth-grade students today perform worse in arithmetic and writing than a few years ago.

High-quality experts, technicians and engineers are Germany’s most important capital and the guarantee of the achievements of this technological and economic power for decades. The serious consequences that today’s teacher shortage can have are actually unbearable. The proportion of young adults who have not completed vocational education has rebounded last year, and this number has been declining for many years. The implementation of education system reform is imminent. The political world is not without seeing the problem, but it is very difficult to respond quickly, firmly and effectively. The Teachers’ Association calls for the establishment of a nationwide recruitment platform and a unified standard for teachers who transfer.

Lina’s mother said: “Of course we are also very worried. In our circle of friends, teacher shortage has always been a hot topic. We never want to make our children into mice.” Fortunately, Fink made them feel good- It can mobilize children’s enthusiasm for learning and is very enthusiastic about teaching, but parents currently have no choice but to trust schools and teachers.

[Compiled from the German “Star”]

Editor: Zhou Dandan

Barbara Bergona-Fink, 45 years old
Fink, who graduated in vocal music, is now a class teacher at a primary school in Duisburg.

“In 2017, when I had the opportunity to teach in elementary school, I was thinking: the opportunity is not lost, and the time does not come. The colleagues accepted me well, and there is no grade in the teacher’s office. Everyone is happy to help me , But I try to ask only the most necessary questions, because everyone is busy. The salary of the teacher who transfers halfway is not very high. Although I do the same job, I obviously earn less than my colleagues. And because of my age I don’t have the opportunity to be a public teacher. But I don’t care about it. After all, this job makes me very happy.”

Damien Buta, 45 years old
The geography doctor, photographer and cave researcher are now teaching geography and biology at a high school in Hamburg.

“I used to teach in university, but I did not receive teacher training. After moving to Hamburg in 2011, I started to provide tutoring for middle school students and then started to teach elementary school students. Now I’m taking a sixth and eighth grade class .. I will introduce my experience as a researcher in the classroom, so it is not the same as the traditional classroom model. My students like this very much.”

Florian Kramer, 49
This band member teaches at a school in Berlin.

“I have my own music school, I have a good income, and work makes me happy. But now, I want to try something else. In elementary and middle schools, good music lessons are very useful. Now I teach 14 lessons a week, and often Experienced colleagues teach together. Last week I was standing alone in a seventh grade class for the first time. I did well in that class. I had practical knowledge but lacked the foundation of pedagogy. For this reason I participated in three A teaching seminar, it can be said that I have also become a middle school student again. I learned a lot from my colleagues, but sometimes I still feel powerless. This is also because I have high demands on myself. I want to be a capable student Qualified teachers who let students learn.”

Katia Lisser, 37
Liselle, who worked in a transportation company, is now a high school English and German teacher in Saxony.

“I am a graduate of English and Czech translation from a technical school. When I work in a transportation company, I often use English. I directly felt the impact of the teacher shortage on my children. When I attended a parent meeting, the principal encouraged I’m trying to find a teacher position. I’ve received three months of training in school, and I’m currently learning German teaching methods. I have to teach two courses to get the same salary as my colleagues. In Saxony, until the age of 42 Can all become public teachers, and I did.”

Tony Miller, 39
Miller, Ph.D. in Physics, now teaches in a middle school in Dresden.

“I teach 13 classes and must remember more than 300 names and faces in a short time, and this is just one of the many new challenges I face. Before that, I worked as a science assistant at the University of Dresden Four years, and then seven years at a solar cell manufacturer. Standing on the podium of a middle school is a completely different experience. I am not a very strict teacher and sometimes admit that I made a mistake. But if it is I will figure out the correct answer to professional-related questions as soon as possible. As a transition teacher, I can bring in new perspectives and new experiences, such as the application of physics in solar photovoltaic power generation systems, or what is the level of positions in enterprises .”