What are teachers tired of explaining

school : Back-breaking teacher

As employees, they do not want to work, say young Berlin teachers and threaten to leave for other federal states, which continue to have civil servants and therefore pay around 700 euros more net. The Senate, on the other hand, was convinced for years that Berlin was attractive enough as a city to keep teachers despite lower salaries. What he apparently did not consider: Even Berlin lovers no longer see why they should do this backbreaking job for less money. Because they see their older colleagues wear out. Here's an example.

It is shortly before midnight: it is already quiet in the apartment, nowhere is there more light on, her two children have been sleeping for almost three hours, her husband said goodbye to bed: Katrin K. (name changed) has been sitting at the desk again since dinner . Two desk lamps are burning in her study, a cigarette is glowing in the ashtray and a thermos with coffee stands between stacks of papers and files.

Katrin K. corrects the essays of her students: Exams of a German course. Katrin K. reads very concentrated, forgetting cigarette and coffee. The students' texts about the "Faust" have a length of about 1500 words. After reading for the first time, checking for errors, then reading again and adding comments, then Katrin K. writes an opinion from the comments to help her students: In the end, after reading the opinion, she will put the essays on different piles distribute for grading.

“I've had this stacking system for a good 20 years. So I try to be as fair as possible when grading. ”She sits on an essay for 30 to 40 minutes. She has 21 students. It's going to be a long night shift. At 7.30 she will be back at her school.

Katrin K. has been working as a teacher for more than 20 years. She never wanted to be anything else: "This job was and is my absolute dream job: I always wanted to teach German and English, work with children and young people," says Katrin K. when we met for a cup of coffee the next day. She looks tired, her eyes are red. She sat on essays until three in the morning. “I couldn't concentrate any longer. I'm even on the verge of spelling mistakes in the reports, so I went to sleep. ”These night shifts have become more frequent. "I have two correction-intensive subjects, many courses in the upper level, I am a class teacher in a ninth grade and lead the theater group at the school, I sit in the school conference as a representative of the teachers and am on the extended school management."

While she is listing it, it almost seems as if Katrin K. is a little amazed at the amount of work and her performance herself. She lights a cigarette: "I never smoke in front of my students," she says quickly. Today she taught for four hours. That doesn't sound like a lot. Nevertheless, it is enough for Katrin K. She prepares meticulously every hour. When we met, she was already sitting in front of a folder: There she was stapling material for her German class. Katrin K. draws up a plan for every lesson and thinks very carefully about what she wants to achieve with the students on that day: “Without these notes I would be pretty lost. I also do them to be organized for the students. I have to be able to concentrate fully so that they have respect for me. "

When you visit her in the classroom, you immediately understand what is meant: In her ninth grade, all hell breaks loose before the bell rings. It's half past ten and the long break lasts about ten minutes. Katrin K. is already in class because she wanted to talk to a few students: One was caught smoking in the yard, another has unexcused absenteeism and a girl doesn't want to go on a school trip because she feels bullied.

"These problems are everyday life, but you have to deal with them with the greatest dedication, otherwise the students quickly feel left alone," she explains. With 27 students in their own class, a lot comes together: discussions with students and parents, planning excursions and class trips, parents' evenings, certificates. With 26 weekly lessons, she has a one-hour discount as a class teacher. “It's a mockery,” she says. When asked how long she worked in total, Katrin K. only replies after long deliberation: “A good 60 hours a week.” She lights another cigarette and it seems as if it makes her uncomfortable to smoke, a vice to have, sometimes not to be 100% controlled. “It's very unfair in our job: A colleague of mine teaches sports and music, for example, and has no class. He doesn't work nearly as much because he now has little or nothing to control and the preparation is rather manageable. He can sit the hours on one cheek, ”says Katrin K. and looks angry.

“Since I've been working as a teacher, the number of hours has been gradually increased, and reduced hours have been shortened. And then the class size continued to grow. That's not exactly motivating. "Like many of her colleagues, Katrin K. says that she is a little tired:" The pressure has increased in recent years, and the students have not exactly become easier. "She means behavioral problems, social and family problems . “I'm not someone who complains: It is clear that we, as teachers of the children, have to take care of exactly that, but we cannot take on the work of a therapist or parental love. But that is exactly what many parents expect when their children sit in front of us at eight o'clock in the morning. ”Two days later it is hiking day. Katrin K. visits the Berlin Wall Memorial with her students. She's back on a night shift. “The next batch of English essays has robbed me of sleep. But at the moment I can't leave anything behind because I have so much work and homework to check. "

The children don't notice the stress. During the tour they are loud, run around each other, have fun. Katrin K. is a little uncomfortable with how "her kids" behave and apologizes to an employee of the memorial. In her thoughts she is preparing for the next few days and at parents' evening today. Before that she will make three phone calls to parents from another class, there are problems. "But actually I just feel like a cigarette and a good book now," she says while her students run around wildly and frolic.

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