Now it’s done and the first half of the year is already over. It was an interesting six months and the Corona crisis did the rest. While we had normal lessons at the beginning of the training, contacts with classmates during school time and regular practical assignments, the situation changed noticeably from December onwards.
Who would have thought that we would suddenly have homeschooling and a suspension of practice visits for several months. It is all the better that at least the practical days can now take place again at the end of the half-year and that you have contact with the children again.
It was interesting how differently schools and institutions all over Germany react to this situation and you could smile at one point or another. Nevertheless, I think that the majority of the facilities have made massive efforts to ensure that the care can be maintained. Even daycare centers are powerless against laws and regulations. 😉
But now to the actual core of the article, how I fared in the first six months. What did I like and what I didn’t like so much. What tips can I give others and what should I have been more careful about myself in the first six months on my way to becoming an educator.
Since I am a single parent, the path to the PIA training was too strenuous for me. Therefore, I took the opportunity to complete part-time training for educators in Stuttgart through the DAA Technical School for Social Pedagogy. The advantage here was obvious: the school and practice hours are between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and there are no classes or practice days during the holidays. Therefore, the training lasts a total of 3 years plus the compulsory year of recognition, i.e. four years.
School started on September 14, 2020. We have a class size of 22 students … and me * laughs *. Stuttgart is a big city and so our class is also mixed with many cultures and languages. I find this extremely helpful, especially in teacher training, as we can extensively discuss many different perspectives, approaches, problems and advantages in the classroom.
The lessons are organized in different subjects and these work with so-called learning fields. As a result, there is more frequent overlap and so one deals with a topic several times, but from different perspectives and with different focuses.
Since some have already asked me what kind of subjects there are in the training and what the respective subjects are like, I now have a list of the respective subjects at the for you below DAA Educational School in Stuttgart, whereby we had neither created an elective subject in English nor mathematics in the first half of the year and of course also wrote a few personal thoughts on this:
BHF : Establish professional behavior
I found the BHF subject exciting and interesting right from the start. In the first six months, we dealt with topics such as observations, analyzes, methods, learning and working techniques, reflection and many more. The organization, implementation and implementation of the practical days also played an important role. In particular, the topics of free play impulse and the targeted offer should be mentioned here.
The class work in the subject was feasible and, with a little interest in the subject, not that difficult. My tip for the BHF subject: Pay attention to the operators and correctly identify and answer the question 😉
EBG : Shaping education and care
The EBG subject is a later examination subject and it is just as extensive in everyday school practice. Virtually all relevant topics relating to upbringing (parenting styles, measures, developmental psychology, etc.) are dealt with here. In addition to BEF1, this subject is absolutely fundamental and necessary for the work as an educator, because here you first acquire the theoretical basics in order to be able to understand what is actually taking place in terms of development and upbringing.
The subject is demanding and very exciting. From my point of view, it is important that you keep learning and understanding, otherwise you can often no longer really follow. For the school subject EBG, I wrote the extensive article on reform pedagogy . I have no real opportunities for comparison when it comes to the quality of teaching, but here I or we are lucky that our teacher is relatively fresh from university and that she is accordingly informed about current developments.
ZQ : Shaping cooperation & developing quality
Now the subject ZQ. I’ll be brief, I don’t particularly like it. This subject is about the big topic of team and team development. Of course, the point of communication should not be missing here either. Conflicts were also discussed. The contents of the lessons were logical and comprehensible. Still, I found them boring and well known. Perhaps this can also be traced back to my previous professional career, as I have worked a lot in teams and projects. For people who had little or no contact with these topics up to now, however, the topics were important in order to also take a different look at “ interpersonal ” cooperation.
Due to the corona situation, I had an exam interview here via an online meeting and it was doable. Here I also noticed how pleasant and detailed an oral exam can be without having to write everything down yourself. It was a great new experience.
There isn’t much to say about German. Here we worked on communication theories, language and dialogue. As mentioned at the beginning, our class is multicultural. That is why there was a special focus here and the school launched an additional voluntary German support course. I think that this has to be given very positive credit to the school, as this is not mandatory in principle and the relevant students can benefit greatly from this.
Because everyone should know that in the educator training you have to write a lot of elaborations. So a big thumbs up to the school.
I was personally surprised by the religion class. The level was much higher than I honestly expected. In the half-year we worked on topics such as genetic engineering, religious communities and also children and theology. The subject of children and theology in particular had challenged me a lot, since not only religious aspects but also philosophy play an important role here. So I found the level of religious education high and demanding.
BEF1 : Promote education and development
The subject BEF1 is also a later examination subject. Topics such as play, language, language development, communication, puppets, voice training and many more were discussed here. The subject was extremely demanding and the many tables, stages of development and other data were quite demanding. In any case, it is a subject that you don’t learn on the side and that demands a lot of motivation.
Personally, I just loved the subject of games and the children’s conference. For this subject, I also wrote the homework intercultural communication to find grades.
BEF2 : Promote education and development
The subject BEF2 is such a special case in my opinion. Because this is divided into four subgroups with us:
- BEF2 Music (history of language development, music, sound stories)
- BEF2 aesthetics (art, sewing, dolls)
- BEF2 health (salutogenesis, biomedical model, metabolic diseases)
- BEF2 movement (Ottawa Charter, Activation, Obesity, etc.)
These subjects ultimately flow together and an overall grade is formed from this. Each subject has a different teacher and so these subjects can also be seen as “learning areas”. There were also exciting subjects here and you could take a lot with you for everyday life as an educator.
UVL : Living difference and diversity
As the name suggests, the UVL subject deals with the topics of self-reflection, cultures, values, norms and biography work. Of course, communication shouldn’t be missing here either. Personally, I found this subject exciting, because you had dealt a lot with yourself and then you were sometimes amazed to see how retracted your own point of view is. You learn a lot about cultures, values and norms, which helps you communicate and interact with other people / cultures. I like to call it daring to think outside the box 😉
My homework on Japanese culture was also created in this subject. There is also a learning diary in UVL. This is somewhat like a personal diary in which you reflect on the previous teaching units and record them. Due to the Covid story, however, this has been treated a little less than it was actually intended. The online lessons probably meant that priorities simply had to be set.
At the end of the first half year of school at the DAA there was of course a half-year report with the corresponding grades. I know that this is precisely what interests many here. So it’s not a long speech, this is what it looks like:
The practical time in the day care center
The practical time in the day care center was just great. I immediately got into conversation with my colleagues and was directly involved. I was able to quickly find access to the children and after a short time I was also the contact person for the children. The blog internship over a fortnight also contributed to this. Because otherwise we are currently only at the facility on Mondays.
During my practice time, I always only arrived during breakfast. So you could then go straight to the free play or offer phase. Often times we would split the group and some would go to the outdoor play area. Having lunch together, setting the table and then going to bed was a very nice time.
In the beginning, it was a bit difficult to assert yourself and the different approaches in different situations. That was something I had to learn first. Unfortunately, the facility will end again after the next six months and I have to switch to another, which is a shame. Nevertheless, this is of course necessary in order to be able to collect different and varied impressions.
I have practical tips insofar as you need really comfortable shoes and you shouldn’t wear black pants, especially in winter. Because when it’s time to catch a cold, your pants will be after two hours…. You already know 😉
I heard from some of my classmates that there were problems with the facility. Clarifying discussions have often proven to be useful here. Unfortunately, some of them had to change their furnishings in the end. What I just want to say here is that often the common problem is the lack of communication. If something is unclear or you do not feel comfortable, then do not wait, but speak up immediately. In this way, situations do not even arise.
The free play impulse as a practice visit
During the first half of the year there was a practice visit by the teacher. For this we had a planned free game impulse as a goal. For this I was allowed to choose a child to watch closely. Based on the observations, I created a description of the child. The fine and rough targets were then derived from this. You can find out more in the slightly changed article ” Targeted free play impulse “.
The visit to the practice was a complete success. The child accepted the impulses and spent 45 minutes continuously with the planned materials. The grading of the visit to the practice was divided into three components
- Practical activity (grade 1.4)
- Written preparation (grade 1.5)
- Oral reflection (grade 1.5)
This ultimately results in an overall grade of 1.5.
Looking back, I am very satisfied both in the school and in the practice. Especially with regard to the compatibility between family and training, the part-time variant is clearly preferable to PIA training. I would be sure that I would not be able to complete a full-time education. Be it because of the excessive stress or simply because the daycare of your own child is also closed once during vacation times. Small children also like to be sick more than once. This simply gives me more buffer and less stress.
Especially with regard to the additional twelve months, the question arises for me anyway whether this variant does not even have more lessons in comparison.