Has a teacher ever skipped school?

Plain text from a teacher: The school system is collapsing any moment! We are burned out!

DUSSELDORF. One teacher - and reader of News4teachers - broke the collar. In a long, emotional post, the teacher explains, how she has experienced everyday school life for months and why she is so angry with her employer (specifically: the Baden-Württemberg Minister of Education, Susanne Eisenmann, CDU). The article, which the author published in the News4teachers readers' forum, received a lot of positive reactions from readers. We think that the text deserves a broader public - and that's why we are publishing it again here as a guest post.

Magistra Furiosa December 15, 2020 at 11:08 pm Edit

Eisenmann wants to know? Magistra Furiosa is happy to answer!


“The weekend was tense. For months, we teachers have been observing the corona infection situation and have been hearing time and again the weakening of this, the intensification of which was forecast by well-known scientists, by Ms. Eisenmann and Ms. Gebauer from North Rhine-Westphalia.

We look back to the summer: we should only start trading from an incidence of 50 - we are still laughing about that. The numbers rose, nowhere a trace of the “regional lockdown”. Instead, the prayer wheel: the schools must remain open (as if presence were the only means of educational justice! That is when the ministries do not allow alternatives, otherwise not!).


We have now reached the point of extending the limit values ​​to 300 in December 2020. We've been crawling on our gums since the summer when we tried to prepare the fabric twice - for the presence and the eventual lockdown. In contrast to the Ministry of Culture, we have prepared and tested possible scenarios. We are well positioned at our school, we have 100 loan computers (for children from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, FOUR of them were accessed!). We have digitally mapped our school since March 6th, 2020, on which we were practically awake as a team for the first weekend, and since this school year we have been delivering in parallel for children who stay at home in the Moodle learning platform after every lesson what was worked in face-to-face - naturally adapted to the medium.

The comprehensive hybrid teaching, which would have relieved us of fear, worry and, last but not least, societal infection pressure, was neglected in Baden-Württemberg, tablets that were ordered at other schools at the beginning of July (!) Came in the first week of December and have not yet been set up. As well as? The colleagues don't even get anything in return. They too are “cancerous” at their time and nervous limit.

The tension is palpable. I am slowly no longer able to do this myself. The balancing act with two children, two schools where I teach - a total of four schools with their respective rules, sensitivities, etc. - and a mother, who I care about, is slowly blasting me mentally. My aunt got the second stent, she is single, as is my 80-year-old uncle.
We're not just losing numeric values.


While the federal government has been declaring for weeks that everyone who can should work from home, we teachers must be at the forefront. In front of us is the hostile line of potential aerosol spreaders, who are only there because decency dictates or duty demands it - our students, who just like us have simply suffered for months and also cannot withstand the pressure for long which builds up because we have learned from the first lockdown: the system can collapse at any moment, so we have to generate legally valid grades. So that we don't get dragged to the criminal court. The military vocabulary is chosen deliberately. We are all cannon fodder on Mrs. Eisenmann's way up - the name says it all.

When it comes to vaccination, we are in third place contact persons without any protection. The characteristics of the risk assessment have been downgraded - for the sake of simplicity, hypertension, obesity, diabetes are no longer considered a risk factor - it's your own fault, if you get caught, these are diseases of civilization. What do you eat in front of the computer ?! YES WHY?! Anyone who takes the job seriously has not had time for NINE MONTHS, it's that simple. Because even during the summer holidays we had email traffic to prepare ourselves, to encourage us, to take away fear. Because we also school sick children who shouldn't go to school - and our own: out of common sense! Because we, as mothers and teachers, also do the usual “care work” - keep an eye on older relatives and go shopping if necessary so that they do not get infected.

I am slowly losing my strength, because for MONTHS I have done what makes sense: reduced all other contacts. This makes a lot of things harder, not least the lives of my children who are moving here with us. Only met one or two selected friends for months. I cannot accompany them at school because I have to go to school myself. Home office? Not possible, because all children have to be schooled. Without exception. Continuously. ALWAYS. No matter what the infection rates are.


This equation of almost adult "schoolchildren" with kindergarten children and elementary school children is only one of the "thinking" mistakes of this ministry - if it took seriously the studies on infectiousness of children and adolescents commissioned by the same ministry, moral compulsory education in the sense of face-to-face lessons for those over ten. Instead, Eisenmann repeats the mantra: “Schools are not infection drivers!” - one would like to know where she gets her expertise for this narrative from. Countless studies, however, advise differentiating the age groups, differentiating between infectiousness, viral load and children as asymptomatic active vectors. The Long Covid Syndrome was discovered in asmptomatic people; any biologist can explain to her that the strategy of this virus is to penetrate the populations unnoticed through the youngest in order to eliminate the old and weak in the clan network. A very helpful and simple, an efficient, biological principle. You should stand by it when you realize it - and not pretend that everyone is responsible for their own well-being and woe.

The second “thinking” mistake: civil servants are indestructible! I'm burned out now. I've enjoyed doing this job for the past 15 years. I received further training, I became an ethics teacher and theater teacher in an additional course of study, now I have four subjects and basics in violence prevention. My children, my students, are important to me. The job itself is great, even if it is nerve-wracking per se, but I knew that.

Just ... now I'm actually considering retreating. I feel burned, disrespectfully exploited (“We're not taking a vacation here for the teachers!”); after relieving fears for months and portioning the material sensibly. Anyone who knows me better knows that I am not someone who complains when faced with a simple burden, I also voluntarily correct a high school diploma or write unpaid educational concepts or yearbooks. On the side, I also edited for a school book publisher - simply because I enjoy working. But it's enough now.

You destroy me - and with me many others, about their “lack of empathy”, their “egoism”, their “laziness” you scold when you yourself have the strength again….


It is simply enough that we not only have to endure the stresses of pandemic conditions, but also the lack of respect and the carelessness of politics. Even “society” has now understood what is going on on our backs. And not just on ours. Many children and young people, their parents and grandparents, are also concerned. Six months ago, the mainstream of the population still believed that “the teachers just don't want to” are now recognized by those who criticize them: they want - but CAN and MUST not. There is a lack of legal framework, technical equipment and yes, for some, mostly older, colleagues, there is also a lack of didactic training. But when in these last few months should your colleagues have been trained? Between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.?


Stunned, we observe alibi measures such as “child benefit special bonus”, stinking FFP2 masks, surgical masks with delay - the money for this could have been invested in air washers long ago, had it been for help. But you are content with pleasantly prepared reports from the Federal Environment Agency and leave children and teachers freezing. Of course, ventilation is the best solution - but air washers would relax those present! Have you ever tried to speak through an FFP2 mask for three quarters of an hour, Ms. Eisenmann? Have you ever taught at all? Hardly likely.

So you speak of school as ... yes, as WHAT? WHERE do you get the right to speak about these institutions from, except from your own school days, apparently some time ago? Have you tried to convey CONTENT through the rustling of a 28-person class, rustling of leaves, clicking away the coolie? After 30 minutes you have a sore throat, but you do not go home, although that would be a Covid symptom, because as a teacher, against all prophecies of doom, you have more decency in your body than all the ministers of the state and federal governments put together. That's how it is. After a double lesson you groan - and if you take off the mask briefly, in the case of Covid disease, you can listen to the fact that you have probably not adhered to the distance and hygiene rules, because the disease cannot come from schools - the are safe, as the reports from the summer vacation show.

If you want to know, please try it out for a day at school, dear education ministers of the 16 countries!


But that's not all: Covid syndrome does not count as a work-related illness after you were forced to go to school or daycare, although you obviously belong to a risk group that disabled you in the spring. This is how it is in Germany - ruthlessness at all costs and at the expense of the “systemically important”. Oh what - they aren't even teachers. No, we are not relevant.

Then the malice. Don't act like that, what should “the doctor” / “the cashier” / “xy” say? Yes, probably the same as us: This system is crap, in which everything is stretched out to the end for fear of a few counter-talking void thinkers and then collapses. It can not go on like this. We can't go on anymore. For months we have been moving with our families on the edge of the abyss, guaranteed to please no one and are exposed to the arbitrariness and the lack of willingness to plan of the ministries of education.

No employer except the state should behave like this. No employee would do this amount of unpaid overtime. Yes, we belong to the privileged group of secure job owners. And YES, we do a lot for that too. Out of idealism, damn it. For love of this job. And out of respect for the children and young people entrusted to us. We do a lot of the unseen. And also a lot of unnoticed things. I don't expect clapping or thank you songs from the “normal” population. And no hush money from my employer like the ridiculous 600 euros "bonus" for the school management. Someone who works in “the economy” laughs at that - because it bears no relation to what has been achieved. But what I expect, AT LEAST from the employer, is RESPECT.

Ms. Eisenmann, the words of thanks you have repeatedly written to accompany the ministerial letters do not express this respect in the least - they look like a slap in the face! FINALLY ACT instead of producing empty words, otherwise you actually HAVE to put yourself in front of the classes at some point - people with this degree of resilience, as we are currently demonstrating, together with our highly qualified studies in foreign languages, natural sciences and practical experience in methodological terms -didactic area or even coaching skills are sought after the economic collapse namely as managers to rebuild! "

The ministers of education gambled - students, parents and teachers lost