What is the saddest truth about success

The sad truth about graduating from high school

Jutta Dreßler was recently in the Askanisches Gymnasium, her old school in Berlin-Tempelhof. Many students came to her, greeted her and hugged her. A warm mood. Dreßler, 65, retired a few weeks ago after more than four decades as a teacher. She was happy to do it, she says, with heart and soul - from 1971 onwards at four different high schools.

Die Welt: How were you as a teacher?

Jutta Dreßler: I was already strict. But being strict and consistent doesn't mean not having fun with the students. If you ask something of the students, if you stand up for them, then you are less likely to be suspected of being unjust. When I said goodbye, three students said to me: “Thank you very much for always kicking my ass.” The students need that, you have to ask for something.

Die Welt: Your subjects were geography and sports?

Dreßler: Yes, and I was an educational coordinator. That means, I looked after the high school students. That also went hand in hand with the fact that I had to write my high school diplomas. The software with which the data and grades are transmitted to the school authorities does not work. Several times I was ready to find a typewriter and do it with it. The fact that things that annoy all schools don't get better over the years has worn me down at times.

Die Welt: Parents are insecure, they fear for their children's education. Do you share the concern?