| Erfurt School of Education, Faculty of Education, Lernwerkstatt, Education, School, and Behaviour, Service, Studies

"Resource Corner" expands the offer of the university "Lernwerkstatt"

The University of Erfurt is the location for the training of teachers at primary, regular and vocational schools as well as support teachers in Thuringia. Against this background, the topic of teacher health also plays a special role here. In addition to various workshops, lectures and activities offered as part of the university health management, a so-called resource corner has now been set up in the university "Lernwerkstatt", where prospective teachers can try things out and learn together.

It adds an important component to the "Lernwerkstatt" and is intended to sensitise prospective teachers to the topics of satisfaction, commitment and health in the teaching profession. "For this, we deliberately choose a positive approach without the usual pointing fingers at stress, strain and burnout," explains Dr Benjamin Dreer, Scientific Director of the Erfurt School of Education at the University of Erfurt. "We are concerned with awakening joy for one's future profession and strengthening optimistic engagement with one's own future occupation. The big goal is that sooner or later every one of the approximately 2300 students in our teaching-related degree programmes will come into contact with these materials.

The idea for this came about in the "Mental Health" working group at the university, which is supported by AOK PLUS as a cooperation partner. In future, materials - especially literature - on the topic of teacher health will be available in the resource corner, in which around 600 euros were initially invested. Students who want to deal with these topics in the context of papers, internships, in seminar papers and theses or simply in their free study time can work here in peace and prepare themselves for the challenges of their future professional life. In addition, the material pool also offers suggestions for teachers who would like to integrate aspects of teacher health into their events or who may even be inspired by the material to develop their own event formats.

"The narrative in many publications and events on the topic of teacher health often starts with how exhausting, stressful and potentially health-threatening a career as a teacher can be," says Benjamin Dreer. "It is important to me that we also talk about what characterises the profession in a positive way and what every prospective teacher can do themselves to be satisfied and committed to the profession in the long term. We took this into account when selecting the resources, in which, by the way, prospective teachers and colleagues actively supported us."

Background

The "Resource Corner" is one of many projects that AOK PLUS supports as a cooperation partner of the University of Erfurt within the framework of University Health Management. Franziska Ruschke, health promotion advisor at AOK PLUS, knows how important the health of employees and future professionals is: "In the current absenteeism report of the AOK scientific institute, we see that the proportion of certificates of incapacity to work submitted due to mental disorders among all teachers and educators insured with the AOK has the highest value in the industry-wide comparison at 17%. This is where the idea of a resource-oriented and needs-based offer comes in, which strengthens the teacher trainees at the University of Erfurt for future challenges already during their studies, but also creates opportunities for exchange and networking".