Thursday, October 11, 2018

Teacher Story

I often essay about German education and the problems that oddly pop up.  So today, the public TV folks at ARD (Channel One) came up with a story talking about lack of teachers....but it's a geographic type story.

Overall, Germany right now has a shortage of teachers.  They figure every single year for the next twelve years....they need to recruit 32,000 new teachers (out of a population of 82-million).  But the same folks (Conference of the Ministers of Education) say that there will simply NOT be enough to apply.

In fact, they even note that recruiting in the eastern side of Germany is now a major problem.  Even now....hundreds of teacher jobs are simply vacant because there aren't enough applicants. 

In some cases, they've gone outside of the teacher 'avenue' and started to use just about anyone with a degree, and put them through a 'crash course' (best not to ask) to be a teacher. 

The same people also admit that in western Germany....they've got an excess of people applying (between three and four percent) and more than enough teachers.

The idea of moving from west to east?  To an American, this wouldn't be a big deal.  Most Germans have an 'anchor-type' mentality about moving, and the best you could suggest is moving within the state itself (say from one city in Bavaria to another).  Then if you did bring up moving from western Germany to eastern Germany?  Oh, that would freak some folks out.  There is still some preconceived notions about old DDR and what exists today.

I've driven around a number of the east German Dresden, Erfurt, and Berlin (the eastern side).  In the urbanized areas, you'd generally say you are in Germany and there's very little (except the older buildings) to suggest things are different.  In the small towns?  That might be another story and you feel like you went through a mini-time-tunnel and it doesn't compare to some rural region of Rhineland Pfalz. 

A crisis of teachers?  I suspect when we get to the 2021 national election, this teacher issue will have arrived to place in the top ten problems and some 'bonus' deal will have to be created to talk west Germans into moving and taking teaching jobs in eastern Germany. 

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