The pandemic and teacher shortage have left deep scars in schools. Baden-Württemberg's teachers feel overburdened, and according to a survey, students find it harder to concentrate. It could get worse because many teachers want to step down.
Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - After two years of the pandemic, almost all teachers in Baden-Württemberg are on the verge of exhaustion, according to a survey. Four out of five teachers in the Southwest feel heavily or very heavily stressed. Most extend their work to the weekends, many also to the night hours and still see gaping gaps in the learning and curriculum. This is shown by data from a representative Forsa survey commissioned by the Robert Bosch Foundation (Stuttgart), which was published on Thursday. The education union GEW sees the results of the survey as an "alarm signal" for the green-black state government.
According to the German school barometer, around 90 percent of those surveyed experience their colleagues at the school in the south-west as being heavily or very heavily burdened, and 79 percent say this about themselves. Nationwide, more than three out of four teachers (79 percent) usually also work on weekends, for most of them it is hardly possible to relax in their free time (60 percent). According to the survey, about every second teacher at a German school feels physically (62 percent) or mentally exhausted (46 percent).
"Teachers are under enormous pressure," said Dagmar Wolf of the Robert Bosch Foundation. They would not only have to catch up on digitization at record speed, monitor corona guidelines and work through learning deficits. It is also important to cushion the shortage of skilled workers and to integrate an increasing number of refugee Ukrainian children and young people into schools. For 44 percent of those surveyed nationwide, a large part of the teaching currently consists of crisis management, which applies above all to secondary, junior high, comprehensive and elementary schools.
So it may come as a surprise that, according to the survey, more than three out of four teachers surveyed in Baden-Württemberg are still satisfied with their job (78 percent). "You become a teacher out of conviction," said Wolf. "But chronic overload makes you ill and dissatisfied in the long run. Schools therefore urgently need additional staff," she warned.
The traces of the corona burden are not only evident in the colleges. According to a survey, almost all teachers nationwide (95 percent) have also observed increasing behavioral problems among schoolchildren since the beginning of the pandemic. Many have growing problems concentrating or motivating themselves. According to the survey, aggressiveness among the students has also increased significantly. However, according to the survey, consultation hours by school psychologists are only offered in a third of the Hauptschule, Realschule and comprehensive schools and in every fourth elementary school.
The mood of the active teachers could not only exacerbate the already clear shortage of teachers in Baden-Württemberg: Nationwide, more than every tenth teacher (13 percent) stated in the survey that they wanted to cut back and reduce their teaching hours in the coming school year, that is true especially for part-time workers. According to the survey, almost a third of those who currently teach 15 to 20 hours plan to reduce the load (27 percent nationwide).
"Teachers can see on site what the reality of life of the pandemic and the rising prices are doing to the children and young people, how difficult it is to reach many and how they are suffering," said Monika Stein, head of GEW for Baden-Württemberg. "You can't cushion that and that affects people," she warned.
The results of the survey should alarm the Baden-Württemberg state government according to their assessment. "I hope that Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann and his government will take the results very seriously," Stein told the German Press Agency. "That's a red flag, for sure." The teachers are "at the limit", the country urgently needs to invest more and, above all, increase the number of study places, she demanded and criticized: "The government underestimates the teacher shortage and its consequences."