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How was the first week at school?

I.I am a math teacher at a comprehensive school. This week I had three hours of math in a tenth grade on two days each. Around ten students sat in front of me, but none of whom I otherwise teach. Since not all teachers are allowed to work at our school, we had to split up. I am now teaching in a class that I did not know before. But you have to honestly say: what we do there is not regular instruction; what we do with the final students is intensive exam preparation for the end of May. At our school there are many children and adolescents from socially disadvantaged families, it has been noticed that they are very happy to be able to experience such support again at school before the exam. The students were all in a good mood this week.

So that we can meet the requirements of the state government and the hygiene rules, we have divided the classes into four time groups, which are to be found at five different entrances in the morning at their specified time, each shifted by half an hour. The same students always start at the same time and are always at the same entrance. We are required to wear masks in the building itself. It works quite well, as well as washing hands, but it works best with the distance rules in the large rooms. You tend to take masks down. We are then asked to remind the students to let them go and also to keep their distance. I pay attention to it, but I’m not too strict. I know anyway that they meet after school.

I actually feel relatively safe with all of these measures. I think our school did that well. The students don’t come too close to me as a teacher anyway. But of course, this is an absolutely special situation. It has nothing to do with school as we knew it. There are no breaks in the yard. We spend it in the room with a lot of space and open windows. With the final classes, everything works really well. It will be more difficult as soon as younger students come to school.

Even if there is always a lot of negative news about schools: at the end of the first week I have to say what school leaders and caretakers have put in place and organized in a short time, that impressed me. So far I have rarely seen schools work together so constructively. And I think that doesn’t just apply to my school. All schools were really faced with difficult tasks: controls at the toilets and entrances, new timetables, divided classes, hygiene concepts. The rules are definitely adhered to at our school; after a week I will ask myself whether all of this makes sense. Is the distance enough? Are the masks useful? No idea!

Actually, you should really teach students and teachers the hygiene rules and practice them with them. It’s all a huge challenge. An almost normal school life will be out of the question until the holidays.

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