When the teacher is broke …

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classIn the south of Munich, a specialized clinic is to help the teachers with psychological problems. The causes of their condition are not as always what everyone would expect.

Michael Glokner began to resemble his disciples to get home, throws up on the couch and staring at the TV. He stopped going out on weekends and play sports. Saturday and Sunday would be all day stretching in bed until nightfall. But this teacher is not lazy – he’s sick. Michael Glokner (whose real name for the text changed) suffers from the syndrome pregorevanja.

This teacher is sitting on a wooden chair at a physician’s office and tells its own story. He’s wearing a modern sash, shirt in blue and white stripes and dark jeans. Occasionally, laughter and, all in all, it leaves an impression of energetic people. Only occasionally, his expression is concerned. In the last four weeks is not taught – he was patient. He is on the treatment of depression in clinic, “Sean Rozenek” in Prine, southeast of Munich. This clinic is specialized in the treatment of teachers with psychosomatic conditions.

Each year, between 400 and 500 teachers come for help, which is more than in any other profession. After the teacher, the second largest group, which occurs for psychological help police officers, which is a hundred per year. According to the Ministry of Education and Culture of the German province of Bavaria, during the school year 2010 / 11th year, about a third of the teachers in this province went into early retirement, many of them because of problems with mental health. Experts estimate that a significant number of teachers who still do have problems with mental health, but somehow manage to be dragged to the job.

How is it possible that the teachers are so vulnerable? According to the cliché, it is about a group that has a short working hours, go home early and enjoy a long vacation. Andreas Hilert, Head of Department “son”, examined the stress in the teaching profession as a whole decade, and so far the only scientist in Germany who’s doing it. “Teachers are exposed to enormous psychosocial pressure,” he says, “They constantly have to make decisions and to make choices between an infinite number of possibilities.”

To illustrate what he was talking about, doctor Hilert cited examples: “I need you to interrupt the lecture and tell the child that the story you hear? And if they do, what approach should I choose?” In addition, teachers constantly have the feeling that they do not have free time, because at home preparing lessons, review papers … Many of them lose their ability to exclude and distance themselves from their work and then one day, simply worn out batteries, as happened to Michael Glokneru.

Twelve years Glokner taught Latin and Catholic religion in a school in Hessen, and also worked as an advisor to the school administration. “I’m functioned twelve years,” he says. His workweek lasted 80 hours. Not even the breaks could not rest, because my colleagues just in those moments when it came to the consultation. Most often did not have the time to have lunch.

Another problem was the fact that in the staff room Gloknerovoj school can accommodate 10 people, but there were usually done much more, and the murmur and noise were always present. Mute colleagues simply was not an option. Additional burden for Gloknera was and what is just going through the painful years of termination connections. He became more and more difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Initially resorted to various makeshift solutions until he heard that there is a clinic in prin – and packed her bags.

Hilert says Glokner “exceptional case” because it appeared to help only a few weeks after he suffered a breakdown. Most teachers continue to work between five and seven years, until they realize that they need help. The situation is more complicated than it seems, because, when a teacher has a problem, and suffer the consequences of his students: teacher fails to be well prepared for the moment, there are difficulties with concentration and decreases the quality of teaching.

Miranda List (name also changed) in the same therapeutic group in which it Glokner. This fifty year old high school profesorka is divorced and raising a teenager whom difficult to keep under control. In order to avoid difficulties at home, focused exclusively on the job. It brought her a feeling that is appreciated and respected. However, she began to feels isolated, but is believed to be a bad teacher if you reduce the number of commitments and devote myself more. She came to Princeton to work on the solution of their problems with the help of doctors.

When the doctor Hilert off white coat, the beard, glasses and lively eyes, it is easy to replace with one of the teachers. How much interest in stress in teachers? “My mother and godparents were teachers, and my wife is a pianist, but also teaches young musicians,” says Hilert. This doctor likes to talk about their field of interest, with one exception: do not like the word “pregorevanje”. In his opinion, more regular term for the condition of his patients is depression or anxiety attack.

His patients remain in the clinic for about two months. During that time passed through thirty therapy sessions, some of which are “tailored” just for teachers, while others are applicable to other patients. In addition, attend courses where they learn muscle relaxation techniques, how to refuse the extra work and how to find and devise spare time. Available to them and consultations with therapists, where they can talk about their personal problems.

Hilert believes that the problems that are typical for the teaching profession should be part of teacher education: “Regular inspections should also be required. In many professions are, so it should be the teacher.” Unfortunately, it does not have enough money, but individual schools in Germany implemented mentoring programs based on Hilertovim research.

Michael Glokner is convinced that other teachers at his school overwhelmed by everyday responsibilities and pressures and that they will be crushed. He states that this is one of the reasons that speaks very openly about what happened to him. Bluntly told his colleagues why not work eight weeks and where it will be during that time. The only ones who will ever know the whole story are his disciples. For four weeks, Glokner will again stand in front of the backboard. But he recovered enough to return to the classroom rejoices: “There is no more noble work than teaching,” he says.

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