What makes a lazy teacher?

"What just got into a lot of teachers?" - How the media revive the cliché of the "lazy sacks" in the Corona crisis

MUNICH. “Without a vaccination offer, teachers don't want to go back to school after Easter. With this demand they harm themselves and especially the children "- writes the" Süddeutsche Zeitung "in a much noticed comment with the headline" The insolent ultimatum ". Once again, one of the major opinion-forming media in Germany is using the cliché of the whining, lazy, well-paid teaching staff. This is reminiscent of Frank Plasberg, who after the first lockdown etched in their direction: "Does it make a difference whether you are a civil servant or have to fear for your job?" A reply from News4teachers editor Andrej Priboschek.

The background to the current excitement is a fire letter from the Bavarian Teachers' Association (BLLV) to the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), in which the BLLV writes: "Without a vaccination, face-to-face teaching is not possible." in connection with the self-tests of pupils, which are now to be carried out nationwide in schools, issue illegal instructions because teachers should accompany the tests with practically no protection. (News4teachers reported in detail about the fire letter - here).

In the comment of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” it now says: “When it started with Corona and the schools, many educators had hoped that recognition would increase again before their performance. Entire families were locked down, parents had to get jobs and care coordinated. Finally people would see the importance of teachers. This hope was only fulfilled briefly, if at all. It's a shame, but no wonder. Anyone who follows the recent uprising of the teachers' associations, with all the hardships of this crisis, asks what has got into many teachers?

Teachers quickly became scapegoats in the crisis - no wonder: the media used the cliché of the "lazy sacks"

A steep thesis: Because teachers demand occupational health and safety for themselves and their students - which otherwise applies almost everywhere in Germany, of course also in the editorial office of "Süddeutsche" - do parents question the importance of teachers? It is correct: (some) teachers hoped that many parents in homeschooling - and thus the general public - would recognize how difficult the job of teaching can be. It is also correct: the hope turned out to be deceptive. Teachers quickly became the scapegoats in times of crisis.

Far more valid reasons can be given for this, however, than that teachers complain about having been fobbed off by the Ministry of Education with a leaflet about open windows as the only protective measure. Rather, it has to do with the fact that politicians constantly stir up expectations among the general public - without creating the conditions for this in schools. Whether digitization (the money is there, why doesn't the online lessons work?), Curricula (nothing has been adjusted - giving the impression that the program can be processed as usual this school year), health protection (the schools are sure) or, most recent example, the rapid tests in schools, of which nothing could be seen for weeks despite major announcements: Politics is failing - and media from "Bild" to "hard but fair" and now also the "Süddeutsche" hardly miss an opportunity to blame the teachers for this.

Nothing is easier than using the “lazy sack” cliché. Loud applause is certain. For example, Frank Plasberg, moderator of "hart aber fair", etched in a program on the corona-related problems in school operations after the first lockdown in front of an audience of millions: Committed teachers are "exotic in the age of exercise sheets". While the self-employed and restaurant operators were in a hurry to finally get back to work, he did not 'get the impression from the teachers that they are in such a hurry to resume face-to-face classes. " it is clear: “Free time comes first!” - the paper then put this invented slogan in the mouths of teachers.

The same style can now be found - again - in "Süddeutsche". It now says: “It is pointless to mention that they belong to the few groups that do not have to worry about existential issues. Your jobs as civil servants are safe, well paid and relatively low-risk. The concern about mutants is understandable, but parcel delivery men or cashiers are less protected. Artists or hosts can only hope for financial aid and have no real open perspective. All branches whine, but the raging of the teacher representatives is always louder. "

Because teachers earn money for their work, shouldn't they be like that when it comes to occupational safety?

What a perfidious argument: because teachers earn money for their work - editors of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung", most of whom are currently allowed to work from home, by the way - they should get more money even than unskilled workers (outrageous!) Not having occupational safety like that? The factual assertion implicitly carried along is also wrong: Scientists recently calculated the risk for people in different scenarios of being infected by corona-contaminated aerosols. The highest risk is therefore in the classroom - well before that in the supermarket (News4teachers also reported about it - here). Incidentally, parcel carriers are not listed in the study, why should they? They work hard, no doubt, but largely outside and a long way from their customers.

It continues with the teacher bashing. “What for or against, it varies: against distance teaching, for distance teaching, for school openings, against school openings. Now the associations are outbidding each other in opposing the government's testing strategy. Protest because younger children are not being tested. Protest because they are being tested in school ”, writes the colleague from the“ Süddeutsche ”- and finally comes out as incompetent when it comes to education.

On the one hand: “The” teacher demands do not exist. There are around 800,000 teachers in Germany, and their opinion is as broad as that of the entire population. The different positions are also reflected in the attitude of the associations. On the other hand: It was never about clumsy school closings or - as is currently the case - against tests by students; it was and is always about improving the conditions for the employees at schools (including daycare centers) and for the children and young people entrusted to them so that schools (and daycare centers) actually, as the education ministers claim, “are not drivers of the pandemic " are.

The media that spread the fairy tale of the allegedly hardly infectious children also bear joint responsibility

Unfortunately, that failed because the teachers' associations did not get through. The third wave is the result, thank you for that. Incidentally, media such as the “Süddeutsche”, who spread the fairy tale of the supposedly hardly infectious children all too eagerly and uncritically, also bear joint responsibility for this.

But a little criticism of those in power has to be natural, that is part of the journalistic self-image. However, this is generous in the comment. "It must undoubtedly run better: Clear rules and enough tests are needed everywhere", so it simply says - in order to get back to the teachers immediately: "But as long as not everyone is vaccinated, tests under supervision are the safest way", so claims the author.

That may be true. But under whose At sight? Is it actually the safest way if largely unprotected and medically untrained teachers accompany tests of 20, 25 children in a classroom who have to poke their noses in their noses (with all the possible problems that only someone knows about every day those 20, 25 children work), teachers who are supposed to somehow dispose of possibly contaminated waste, somehow isolate children who tested positive, but also somehow accompany them so that the students do not suffer psychological damage, and then have to make sure that these children somehow come home without infecting others? You don't have to be a teacher to doubt it.

"They also harm the teachers who finally want to give the children real school lessons again"

The editor writes: “The ultimatum of the Bavarian Teachers Association was the highlight so far on Monday: Schools after Easter only when all teachers receive a vaccination offer. Which simply means changing the sequence of vaccinations. This is not only outrageous, but also showing lack of solidarity towards those who are even more at risk from the virus. In doing so, the associations are serving the anger of many members, but they are also damaging the teachers who want to finally give the children proper school lessons again. As quickly as possible."

She overlooks: The change in the vaccination sequence has long been decided - unfortunately, only teachers at primary and special schools were preferred, at least in Bavaria. This is already different in neighboring Baden-Württemberg. There teachers of all types of schools are vaccinated. The education minister in neighboring Hesse, Alexander Lorz (CDU), has also announced that he will vaccinate all teachers after Easter. The Minister of Health of Saxony-Anhalt, Petra Grimm-Benne (SPD), also announced the move yesterday to vaccinate all school types in the future. Reason: "In view of the acute epidemiological situation, this step is absolutely necessary." In other words: This is the only way that "real school lessons", as the "Süddeutsche" author demands so vehemently, are even conceivable after Easter. Isn't the demand of the BLLV so presumptuous after all?

PS. If the working conditions and the earnings of teachers in Germany - especially in Bavaria - are as good as the journalist subliminally claims, how is it that so many open teaching positions cannot be filled? Perhaps the "Süddeutsche" should also think about it: There can be no "real school lessons" entirely without teachers. News4teachers

Here is the comment in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung": "The teachers' outrageous ultimatum".

The CSU member of the state parliament and former Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs Franz Josef Pschierer posted on Facebook:

“Thank you, dear Süddeutsche Zeitung, for this contribution. Even if I am now reproaching myself: We have some of the most expensive teachers, but not always the best and most hard-working teachers. Civil servant status, non-dismissal, best health care with head physician treatment, lavish pensions and 70 vacation days. You should actually be satisfied with that. No! You are not. For me, this ultimatum is simply outrageous. And that's why I'm almost inclined to repeat the quote from our former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder about teachers ('You know exactly what those ... sacks are.'). "

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