Education in the corona crisis: “I have the impression that it’s not about our children”

For months on the Corona crisis hotline: As the parents’ representative, Kerstin Kreienfeld has a lot to do during the pandemic and mediates between parents and school. She lives with her family in the Hammer East. Photo: Mross

© Reiner Mroß

What is necessary for a good education? We talk about this in our “What does Uentrop need” with the mother of four and chairman of the school caretaker of Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gymnasium. What do you mean? Discuss with us! (Form in the article)

Uentrop – Forming oneself is a lifelong process. What opportunities are there to educate yourself in the Uentrop (Hamm) district? What is important? What is missing? And what do students need in the corona crisis? This is what the sixth part of our series “What does Uentrop needs?” Torsten Haarmann talked to Kerstin Kreienfeld about. She is the chairwoman of the school caretaker of the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gymnasium and has four children.

district Uentrop
Residents 27.118 (Stand: 31.12.2020)
Schools in the municipality 8
Students in these schools 3219 (Stand: 15.10.2020)

Education in Corona times: Schoolchildren need individual support

A mother of four, that’s a full-time job, and then a school guardianship chairman too. Why?

Education has always been my topic and I’ve always done a lot as a volunteer. The condition is that the institutions convince me. Our children go or all went to the stone. A lot is going well here, just as I imagine it to be.

What’s going well?

Every school has to provide the teaching content. The teachers at the stone fulfill this. They also fund extensively. For me, however, diversity is crucial. Teachers do not have templates to make all students equal. They see what their students can do. This creates great interaction and trust. I know when my kids have something they go to the teachers and talk about it. I was accepted in the same way five years ago as head of the school council.

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That means: does more individual support help the students?

Yes, it has to depend on the individual and his or her strengths. In addition, the whole personality of a student can be seen. Someone can stand by the stone in math 5, but can play the violin well. The teachers rate that. If a student is not doing well at school, he or she still has strengths that are encouraged. The prerequisite for optimal, individual support would be smaller learning groups, which are not provided for in the current education system.

Digitization in schools: “What use is a projector that is not connected?”

Nevertheless, some students “don’t feel like going to school,” as they say.

I am firmly convinced that students can only “feel like going to school” if teachers manage to get them excited about subjects and content. But there is no one right way; teachers have their own methods. Fairness and equal opportunities are also important issues for students. This is especially true for the transparency and explanation of grades. In the end, what counts is that they are taken seriously as personalities and that they can develop. That a teacher knows, for example, what a student is interested in, or whether he is doing well or badly. Nevertheless, no school will manage that everyone is always “in the mood for school”. The phases of life and interests in childhood and adolescence are too different for that. School and puberty are a difficult combination. Here, too, smaller study groups would be of great help.

What else should go better?

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Digitization hangs. This is due to external factors and partly to the lack of staff. At the stone we are lucky that the deputy headmaster is a computer science teacher. Elsewhere, as far as I know, the subject is still a major construction site. There are also domestic conditions. There are classes in schools without WiFi, or like at the stone: What use is a projector if it is not connected?

Task of the school caretaker: standards in all schools

As a parent representative, what can you do about it?

We are on the right track with the new city school council. I have the impression that we are being taken seriously. At a school we can only tackle deficits in detail, but in the merger I see the opportunity to generally get something off the ground.

What are you doing together?

There are working groups, for example on digitization and inclusion. We will speak to city officials about this. We hope to arrive at standards for all schools in this way. For digitization, for example, we need a concept that can be implemented in the medium term. Also read: Digital learning in corona times is not easy.

What is your top priority now?

A lot went badly during the corona pandemic. Education in the sense of “content to be conveyed” must first be of secondary importance. Instead, we need to see how the students came back from the distance class. Pedagogy must be in the foreground. How did the students get through the crisis as people? How do we get them on a booth? We need answers. At the moment they are sitting together in a class. Constant pressure from different sides, fears have put different strains on your psyche. (Read more about the psychological situation of children in the corona crisis here.)

Education in Corona times: “I keep getting the impression that it’s not about our children”

Mental stress was an issue before, wasn’t it?

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Yes, but Corona has focused the magnifying glass on the problem. I have the feeling that those responsible in the country are often far removed from practice and from meaningful decisions. I keep getting the impression that it’s not about our children. This creates a lot of frustration on all sides.

How can frustration be reduced?

We have to focus even more on individual and holistic support. There are often good programs for marginalized groups. It is better to see education holistically from the outset.

Where do you see your role in it?

In cooperation. It has to be lived. School only works well if everyone involved is involved, if they are included in the decision-making process, including on-site: pupils, teachers and parents have equal rights.

Give us your opinion!

In addition to using the form, you can also comment on the topic using the appropriate post on the WA Facebook page and by email to uentrop@wa.de.

You can read more about this in the print edition of the Westfälischer Anzeiger from June 10th. The next focus of our series “What does Uentrop need?” Will appear on June 24th in print and online. Then it comes to the topic of security and crime in the district.

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