Getting up in the morning and going to school: Whether this is a horror scenario or whether you like going to school depends on many factors. The teachers who are waiting for you certainly play an important role in this. A good teacher can have a positive impact on a student’s entire life. A bad teacher, on the other hand, can completely take away the fun of a subject.
In any case, teachers accompany and influence the students in the phase of their lives in which the course for their future is set. The social demands on the “Pauker” are accordingly high: They should impart specialist knowledge , encourage each student in their individual abilities, teach their class social skills and support the individual with personal problems. A teacher training course prepares you for these tasks.
Teacher training for secondary level I / secondary level II: differences within Germany
In Germany, teacher training is a matter of the state . The teacher training courses differ accordingly from state to state. In the area of secondary schools , a basic distinction is made between teaching posts for secondary level I and II.
- Lower secondary level: Lessons up to and including grade 10 at secondary schools, secondary schools and comprehensive schools as well as high schools.
- Upper secondary level : teaching at the upper level of the gymnasium and in vocational schools.
Depending on the federal state, teacher training includes various types of school. Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania combine the teaching post for primary and secondary schools in one course. Many other federal states offer individual study programs for the different types of schools and, at the same time, cross-school degree programs .
According to MICROEDU, the degrees also differ . Some federal states still offer the old state examination . Other countries, however, such as North Rhine – Westphalia and Lower Saxony, have already switched completely to the new Bachelor and Master programs . It should be noted that students can only do their legal clerkship after completing a Master of Education .
Contents of the course
As a rule, the students first decide on the type of school they want to teach at later and choose the appropriate teacher training course. In the courses for teaching at secondary level I or II, they can usually choose two subjects that they will teach later. The selection and combination options differ from university to university.
The lessons in the selected subjects comprise around four fifths of the course. Together with other Bachelor and Master students who are not studying to become a teacher, the students attend specialist seminars at the various university institutes. Here they acquire a sound knowledge of their chosen subjects , for example in English , German , mathematics or geography .
The rest of the course is devoted to educational content . The students get to know various didactic methods that enable them to impart their specialist knowledge in a way that is appropriate for students. They plan their own first lessons and can do internships during their studies to see whether their ideas can be put into practice. Bachelor students still have to add a master’s degree in order to complete their studies. In the master’s programs, pedagogical training is usually in the foreground.
Requirements for a teacher training course
Before starting their studies, students should carefully consider which subjects they would like to teach and choose the university accordingly. Because only a teacher who is enthusiastic about his subject can transfer it to the students. When choosing, it is important to observe the requirements for admission . Many universities have local restrictions on particularly popular subjects. In these cases, good school-leaving grades are a prerequisite for receiving a place at all.
In addition, universities often require knowledge of Latin or Greek for languages, history or religion . In other subjects such as sports , art or music , students first have to pass an internal university aptitude test. In addition to an interest in their subject, future teachers should also enjoy working with children and young people and have a large portion of pedagogical skills . Soft skills such as patience, stress resistance and empathy also play an important role in later professional life.
After graduation: traineeship, school service and alternatives
After the first state examination or the master’s degree, the training is not over. Now comes the practical part in the form of the preparatory service. Depending on the federal state, the so-called legal clerkship lasts 18 to 24 months . During this time, the students are already teaching largely independently at a school. They are supported by a tutor. In addition, the trainee teachers attend seminars in which they are taught further didactic and methodological skills. The quality of one’s own teaching is checked and assessed in regular class visits. The legal traineeship concludes with the second state examination. After that, most teachers go into regular school service as civil servants or employees.
For those who realize during their legal clerkship that being a teacher is not for them, a teaching degree also opens up alternative career prospects . These are primarily dependent on the combination of subjects studied. For example, sports teachers can find a field of activity in the health sector, while foreign language teachers can also work as translators or interpreters. Textbook publishers also like to employ teachers who have already passed the second state examination.
Reasons to study abroad for prospective teachers
A stay abroad during their studies is particularly recommended for prospective foreign language teachers. Living for a longer period in the country of the language you are studying not only makes your studies easier, it also ensures that you have the professional skills you need later on in school. However, semesters abroad are not only useful for foreign language teachers . Because a stay abroad trains intercultural skills, such as communicating across cultural differences. Skills like these are becoming more and more important in everyday school life, as the number of children and young people with a migration background in schools is growing steadily.