Educator training Stuttgart – The first half year

Now it’s done and the first half of my educator training here in Stuttgart is already over. It was an interesting six months and the Corona crisis did the rest. While at the beginning of the training we had normal classes, contacts during school hours with classmates and regular practical assignments, the situation changed visibly from December on.

Who would have thought that over several months we would suddenly have homeschooling and a suspension of practice visits. It is therefore all the nicer that at least the practice days can now take place again at the end of the half-year and that one has contact with the children again.

It was interesting to see how differently schools and institutions all over Germany reacted to this situation and one could definitely smile a time or two. Nevertheless, I find that the majority of facilities have made a massive effort to be able to ensure that care is maintained. Even daycare centers are powerless against laws and regulations.

But now to the real core of the article, how did I fare in the first six months. What did I like and what not so much. What tips can I give others and what I probably should have paid more attention to myself in the first six months on my way to becoming an educator.

The school days

Since I am a single parent, the PIA training route was too strenuous for me. That’s why I took the opportunity to complete an educator training program part-time at the DAA Fachschule für Sozialpädagogik in Stuttgart. The advantage here was clear: school and practice hours are between 8:30-13:30 and there are no classes or practice days during the vacations. Therefore, the training lasts a total of 3 years plus the mandatory recognition year, ergo four years.

Started school 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 educator training, as it allows us to discuss many different perspectives, approaches, problems, and also benefits at length in class.

The lessons are organized in different subjects and these work with so-called learning fields. As a result, there are more frequent overlaps and one topic is treated more than once, albeit from different perspectives and with different emphases.

Since some have already asked me what subjects there are in the training and what the respective subjects are like, I have now listed for you below the respective subjects at the DAA Erzieherschule in Stuttgart, whereby we had neither an elective subject English nor mathematics in the first half-year and of course also wrote a few personal thoughts about it:

BHF: Founding professional action

I found the BHF subject exciting and interesting right from the start. In the first six months, we addressed topics such as observation, analysis, methods, learning and working techniques, reflection, and many others. The organization, implementation and execution of the practical days also played a major role. Here, the topics of free play impulse as well as the targeted offer are to be mentioned in particular.

The class work in the subject was doable and with some interest in the subject not all that hard. My tip for the subject BHF: Pay attention to the operators and correctly recognize and answer the question.

EBG: Shaping education and care

The subject EBG is, after all, a later examination subject and that is how extensive it is in daily school practice. Here, virtually all relevant topics concerning education (parenting styles, measures, developmental psychology, etc.) are covered. This subject, along with BEF1, is absolutely fundamental and necessary for the work as an educator, since it is here that one first acquires the theoretical foundations in order to be able to understand at all what actually takes place in development and education.

The subject is challenging and very exciting. The important thing from my point of view is that you should definitely keep up with learning and understanding, otherwise you often can’t really follow anymore. For the school subject EBG I wrote the extensive article on reform pedagogy. I don’t really have anything to compare it with when it comes to teaching quality, but here I or we are lucky that our teacher is relatively fresh out of university and she is accordingly informed about current developments.

ZQ: Shaping Cooperation & Developing Quality

Now the subject ZQ. I’ll be brief, it’s not particularly up my alley. This subject is about the big topic of team and team development. Here, of course, the point of communication must not be missing. Conflicts also came up. It has been logical and comprehensible lessons. Still, I found these boring and all-around familiar. Perhaps this is also due to my previous professional career, as I have worked a lot in teams and projects. However, for people who had little or no previous contact with these issues, the topics were important to also take a different look at “interpersonal” cooperation.

Due to the Corona situation, I had an exam interview here via online meeting and it was doable. Here I also discovered how pleasant and detailed an exam can be orally without having to write everything down myself. It had been a great new experience.

German

There is not much to say about German. Here we worked on communication theories, language and dialogue. As mentioned at the beginning, our class is multicultural. For this reason, there were special support priorities here and an additional voluntary German support course was set up by the school. I think that this has to be credited very positively to the school, as this is basically not mandatory and the respective students can benefit a lot from this.

Because everyone should know that you have to write an immense amount of papers in the educator training. Therefore, a big thumbs up to the school.

Religion

I had been personally surprised by the religious instruction. The level was much higher than I would have expected, to be honest. In the semester we have worked here on topics such as genetic engineering, religious communities and also child and theology. Especially the topic of children and theology had challenged me a lot, because not only religious aspects but also philosophy plays an important role here. Therefore, I found the level of religious education to be high and demanding.

BEF1: Promote education and development

The subject BEF1 is also a later examination subject. Here, topics such as play, language, speech development, communication, puppets, voice training and many more were discussed. The subject was extremely demanding and the many tables, development stages as well as other data were quite challenging. It’s definitely a subject that you don’t learn on the side and that demands a lot of motivation.

Personally, I just loved the theme of play and the children’s conference. For this subject, I also wrote the term paper intercultural communication for grading purposes.

BEF2: Promote education and development

The subject BEF2 is such a special case in my opinion. Because this is divided into four subgroups in our company:

  1. BEF2 Music (language development story, music, sound stories)
  2. BEF2 Aesthetics (art, sewing, dolls)
  3. BEF2 Health (salutogenesis, biomed. model, metabolic diseases).
  4. 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 may well be seen as “learning areas” again. These were also exciting subjects and you could take away a lot for your everyday life as an educator.

Especially the practical activities in aesthetics and music were very nice and a lot of fun. This is also where the language development story and the finger puppet star came into being.

UVL: Living difference and diversity

As the name suggests, the subject UVL deals with the topics of self-reflection, cultures, values, norms and biography work. Of course, communication must not be missing here either. Personally, I found this subject exciting, because you had dealt with yourself a lot and then you realize, sometimes with surprise, how entrenched 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 look beyond one’s own nose.

My term paper on Japanese culture was also written in this subject. There is also a learning diary in UVL. This is somewhat like a personal diary where you reflect on and record past lessons. However, because of the Covid story, this has been treated a little less than it was intended to be. With online classes, priorities probably just had to be set.

Mid-year report

At the end of the first half of the school year at the DAA, there was, of course, a mid-year report card with the corresponding grades. I know that this one in particular interests many here. Therefore, no long speech, this is how it looks:

Mid-year report of the educator training
Mid-year report of the educator training

The practice time in the daycare center

The practice time at the daycare center was just great. I immediately got into good conversation with my colleagues and was also 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 had also contributed to this in particular. Because otherwise we are currently only always on Mondays in the facility.

During my practice time, I always arrived during breakfast. Thus, one could then go directly into the free play or offer phase. Often we divided the group and one part went to the outdoor play area. Especially having lunch together, setting the table and then going to bed was a very nice time.

Somewhat difficult at the beginning were the assertion and the different approach in different situations. That was something I had to learn. Unfortunately, after the next half-year, I’m already finished at the facility and have to change to another one, which is a shame. Nevertheless, this is of course necessary to be able to collect different and diverse impressions.

I have tips for practice in that you really need comfortable shoes and you should not wear black pants, especially in winter. Because when the cold season is, the pants after two hours…. You know.

I heard from some classmates that there were problems with the facility. Clarifying discussions have often proved useful here. Unfortunately, some probably had to change facilities 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 address this immediately. That way, situations don’t build up in the first place.

The free play impulse as a practice visit

During the first semester there was a practice visit by the teacher. For this one, we had a planned free-play pulse as a goal. For this I was allowed to choose a child that I should observe more closely. Based on the observations, I created a child description. The fine and coarse targets were then derived from this. You can find out more in the slightly modified article “Targeted free play impulse“.

The practice visit was a complete success. The stimuli were accepted by the child and he engaged with the planned materials for 45 minutes continuously. The grading of the practice visit was divided into three components

  1. Practical activity (grade 1.4)
  2. Written preparation (grade 1.5)
  3. Oral reflection (grade 1.5)

This ultimately results in an overall grade of 1.5.

Conclusion

Looking back, I am very satisfied both at school and at the practice facility. Part-time training is clearly preferable to PIA training, particularly with regard to the compatibility of family and training. I would be certain that I would not be able to manage a full-time education. Be it because of too much workload or simply because their own child’s daycare center is closed during vacation periods. Also, toddlers like to just be sick more often. This simply gives me more buffer and less stress.

Especially with regard to additional twelve months, the question arises in my mind anyway whether you don’t even have more lessons in comparison in this variant.

Suggested Citation

Götz, S. (2021). Educator training Stuttgart – The first half. Training at the technical school. ISSN: 2748-2979. Accessed 02/26/2021. Available at: https://krippenzeit.de/erzieher-ausbildung-stuttgart-das-erste-halbjahr/

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