New everyday life at the habfurt school center: separated yet united

New everyday life at the habfurt school center: separated yet united

At the bus parking lot at tricastiner platz, you can already guess that everything is going to be different than usual. Barriers with construction fences show the students their way, so that they can be separated according to the three school types directly after arrival by bus.

It’s easiest for the youngsters at the albrecht durer middle school, as principal matthias weinberger explains: "we have the advantage of having our own school building on durerweg." so the middle schoolers are guided to their schools right in the front area of the bus parking lot.

The situation is somewhat different for grammar and secondary school students, who are housed in the same building. Rough signposts on construction fences guide the 250 or so students to the schools.

Appropriately, hartmut hopperdietzel, the principal of the secondary school, was there on the first day in a signal-colored jacket to make sure that all the students observed the rules. The secondary school students can enter the school center as usual, while the high school students have to take a detour via the sports field to get to the east entrance.

Clear separation

Even in the building itself, the two types of school are kept strictly separate. The school platform and the individual floors are separated into two parts. Maria eirich, principal of regiomontanus high school, explains why: "we want to avoid having to close both schools if there is a corona case in one of them."

In addition to the usual recommendations, there are also special hygiene regulations for the schools. For example, the exchange of work materials is prohibited, the break sales are cancelled until further notice and the toilets may only be used individually. In addition, the wearing of mouth-nose masks is recommended and each class has its own meeting point in the open air, where they spend the breaks.

"Organizing the lessons was an incredible logistical challenge", emphasizes eirich. So new lesson and supervision plans had to be written and everything rethought. The lessons for the final classes have to be held in small groups at all three schools, i.E. The classes have to be divided. But it’s a good thing that the present lessons are taking place again, says hopperdietzel. Many schools need a personal contact person for subject-related questions, and the cancellation of classes lasted six weeks, which is as long as the summer vacation.

No one is left alone

But all the other students who still have to stay at home are not forgotten by the teachers. In addition to the school wiki, which is already in use, the school’s own cloud, the school manager, and many videos made by the teachers themselves, another special teaching method has become established in the high school: lessons are held via video conference. System administrator christian gramer explains: "we use the program ‘big blue button’ recommended by the ministry and have set up a separate server for it, so that data security is guaranteed." on the platform teachers can book appointments and then announce them to their students. "Video lessons help to narrow the gap between children who find it easy to work only with written material and those who are overwhelmed by it", says katrin hiernickel, who teaches a fifth grade class, among others.

Face-to-face teaching offers a better range of ways to teach the material to the students. There is also a personal reference when you see the teacher on the screen. The students are free to turn on their cameras, but this is especially popular in the lower classes, according to hiernickel. The video lessons are conducted in the same orderly manner as in the rest of the school. With a report button, students can indicate when they have something to say, and with the additional chat function, questions can be collected.

Virtual playground

Teacher karina hetterich has come up with something special. After the 45-minute video conference is over, the virtual playground is opened. Here, the children can talk to each other and exchange ideas, just like during the normal break on site.

Martin oberleitner, a member of the school management team, sums it up: "we teachers also keep in touch via videoconferencing and are thus encouraged to leave familiar paths." the previous routine has been interrupted by the crisis, because now everything has to be managed anew. But this is also a chance to realize that teachers don’t always have to be perfect either.

It runs in the secondary school

In a slightly different form, the dr.-auguste-kirchner-realschule has put digital media to good use. Michelle prinz, for example, guides her students with youtube videos especially for her classes. In addition, the program ‘microsoft teams’ is in use, in order to be able to offer video lessons, similar to those in the gymnasium. "The children usually have fixed appointments twice a week when they are supposed to be online", says prince and is happy that everything is working out fine.

Furthermore, the young teacher has created content with ‘scratch’, a simple programming program, with which learning content can be conveyed in a playful way. For example, the topic of bundeslander is currently present in the lesson. An animated figure asks the children to enter the answer to the questions on the keyboard and immediately gives the answer, whether it is correct or incorrect. Otherwise, students can check their schedule for the week on the school’s website, explains anke manner, who is a member of the school’s extended management team. Each class is listed individually here, click on the link to see all relevant data.

"Thrown into the cold water"

Benjamin krumpholz, a teacher of german and history, is also an enthusiastic user of the digital world in his lessons. With his homemade videos, the students have the advantage of being able to watch certain things repeatedly at any time and go into them in greater depth. "Making a virtue out of necessity, that’s how hopperdietzel sees it: "we were thrown in at the deep end when it came to digitalization and are now learning to swim faster in the digital media during the crisis."

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