Munich: How Retraining to Become a Teacher Works for Career Changers – Munich

Christian Tricarico looks around with some suspicion. The theater scientist, in her mid-40s, is standing on a wooden floor in the motion room of a school with nothing but socks on her feet. It is a Friday evening in early May, and around them stand a hairdresser and a trained confectioner, an office clerk and a shipping clerk and three women with college degrees; And women must now sort themselves according to the first letter of their first name. They come from Munich, Brazil, Russia and Bavaria. And they all have one goal: they want to learn another profession. They want to be teachers.

There are very few teachers in day care centers in Munich – this fact is well known because it is a problem. The day care groups are understaffed, and some cannot even open despite having rooms for them – because there are no teachers. The teachers and nannies who are there are often confused. When someone gets sick, takes days off, or is on vacation, things often get tight; Care times should be shortened due to staff shortages.

And the number of training places in various technical academies increased, as did the salaries of teachers. There are more and more ways to get a job and service providers are also looking abroad for men and women who want to work in day care centers in Munich. However, in about 450 daycare centers in the city alone, about 13 percent of teacher positions are vacant, and the figure for childcare workers is five percent. There are about 1,450 day care centers in Munich. And the colorful “Janny Wanted” signs on the fences of day care centers are part of the usual picture.

Side arrivals are in demand, they bring life experience with them

For Christian Tricarico, this was one of the reasons for retraining to become a teacher. Knowledge: I will always have something to do in this profession, I will always find work. So far I’ve worked as a party organizer, hired at first, then self-employed – until Corona came along. “It was clear to me that it was time to rethink,” Christian Tricarico says. “And besides culture, children have always been my second biggest love.”

I applied for two internships and was immediately accepted. First stop: Forest Kindergarten in Isar. She wanders through woods and meadows, sculpts trees and climbs them as high as possible – this freedom for children to experience everything, she says, has impressed her. And the breeders’ endurance and faith when the child climbs the tree. And I knew: You want to do it, you want to be a teacher.

The change of profession, according to a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education and Sports, is very important for day care centers in Munich. “Without them, the staffing shortage in nurseries would be much greater.” And career changers are good for teams and children: through their lives and professional experiences, they bring with them other perspectives and motivations.

First a year of teaching and practical hours, then a year of professional practice

There are many technical academies in Munich that offer courses for career changers. Christian Tricarico is one of 27 men and women who began their external course at Caritas Don Bosco Academy of Social Education this year. Some already work as babysitters or supplementary workers in day care centers. In addition to their job, they will go to school for a year, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and also study at home.

Fees vary from school to school. At this academy, for example, the preparatory course costs 2,300 euros, plus 900 euros for the exam fee. Those without daycare experience must complete 960 practical hours. And if the exams are passed, a year of work experience will follow with an accompanying seminar, which the city of Munich pays around €1,800 per month. Christian Tricarico and her fellow students have the same syllabus and in the end, if all the exams are passed, the same score – but much less time.

On a Friday evening in May, after getting to know each other in the movement room, half of the group will study music while the other half will do social work. Evelyn Brandl stands in front of eleven women in a first-floor classroom and explains: Practicing social work is not a test subject, but it is important nonetheless. In addition, there is space here to talk about your own experiences and daily work life.

Social worker Evelyn Brandel educates career-changers, who have to master 13 tests – not all of them passed.

(Photo: Stefan Rampf)

And this is what women do: they talk about children who are curious by nature and that is what excites them at work; From hard work in integration groups, from parental gratitude. And time after time the lack of staff. From groups that were not able to open up and others that had to be closed. About sick colleagues and what it’s like to work understaffed.

Downstairs, music teacher Sonia Beck shows her group how they throw clothes in the air and sing together, practice changing arms and learn how children hold wooden sticks that can also be made from broomsticks or twigs. The drums are louder, softer, up and down. She raises her hand, calms down. Sonia Beck says she also works in daycare. He recommends introducing the gesture early.

It’s about shorts, verses, knee stirrups. It’s all in Chapter 7 of the book, Musical Games with Toddlers, pages 204-220. They should read it, try it out in their daycare group — and learn for the exam. Because this topic will start and end on this Friday and will only appear again in the exam. It is similar in many courses: exams are a subject, even if it was almost a year before they were written.

A trainee says, Getting started isn’t easy—financial included

Before teaching begins on Friday evening, Sonia Beck and Evelyn Brandl explain what sets this course to outside participants. “Anyone who takes it upon themselves has really thought about it,” says Evelyn Brandl. “Our participants are highly motivated. They’re actually always around, unless they themselves or their children are sick. They challenge us and want to know a lot,” says Evelyn Brandl. Sonia Beck adds that external employees are in the middle of their careers. They will appreciate more training in a completely different way. They like to take responsibility.

Christian Tricarico, for example, sees this internship as an investment in her future. She says, “I took this year to study.” She earns nothing at the moment, lives on her savings, and her family supports her. “It is not easy to start working as a teacher,” she says. “Of course, pedagogically sound training is important. But financial compensation is also important. If you want good people in daycares, you have to pay them accordingly.”

Side entry as a teacher: Back to school more than 20 years after graduation?  After a week of lessons, Christian Tricarico thinks: Yes, it is possible.

Going back to school more than 20 years after graduating? After a week of lessons, Christian Tricarico thinks: Yes, it is possible.

(Photo: Stefan Rampf)

She has 13 exams next year. On average, three out of 30 participants don’t attend, says Evelyn Brandl. And that daycares are often happy to hire people who change careers. Because they do not dream of a trip around the world as young people do, most of them already have children. And anyone managing the additional training has demonstrated self-discipline: Learning at home is part of the course, five to seven hours a week, says Brandel.

The courses are offered to outsiders to give people with professional experience the opportunity to become teachers without having to complete long-term classical training. The teacher training course at the Pedagogical Institute, for example, has been around for nearly ten years, with 50 places a year. The minimum age for Caritas Academy is 25 years. According to Evelyn Brandl and Sonia Beck, many find access to the profession through their children. There are also a few men in each year group. And there are always more applicants than they can accept.

Kristen Kastner, for example. The 33-year-old with purple hair is sitting on a patchwork rug on the floor of the music room. They’ve only had a short break, and they’re about to continue playing to get to know the gadgets. She has applied because she is a single mother and it is difficult to juggle her job as a foreman for pool operations with family life. She now works as a teaching assistant in a nursery school and is training her to become a teacher.

Next to her sits Elizabeth Sousa Looper. She taught primary school teaching in her native Brazil, but the degree was not recognized in Bavaria. So now she will be a teacher, along with working full time at the Waldorf facility, along with being a mother. “Sunday morning before breakfast,” the 53-year-old says and smiles. She says her husband and daughter are supporting her otherwise it won’t work out.

In the first-floor classroom, Evelyn Brandl talks about how everyone can find their own style of parenting over time. Why doesn’t baking a cake with ten kids work, and these hand puppets are just one of many ways to prepare kids for a show. When Evelyn Brandel wraps up her lesson at 9 p.m., it’s dark outside. In the fall she sees her students again. Until then, they should write a report on the educational offering they experienced at the daycare center along seven points of articulation. Women are wearing jackets, we will continue next week, then education / psychology / remedial education will be on the schedule. But in the evening, Christian Tricarico will celebrate for the first time her wedding anniversary with her husband.

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