“Be yourself and have fun” – HERZOG Kultur

Kyra Sophie Essling. Photo: Sonja Neukirchen
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The conversation with Kyra Sophie Essling was one with goose bumps on either side. Perhaps because she was able to formulate so authentically and calmly, which prompted her to ask particular questions. Maybe because none of it sounded learned or remembered, but rather convincing and authentic. Certainly also because Kyra Sophie Essling’s career as a teacher turned out so well and is now a touching “come-home story”.

It was her “first day of school” at the Nordschule Jülich; at least on the first day of school as a permanent teacher, because she herself went to school as a child. Essling then graduated from the Jülich Women’s Secondary School and eventually studied in Wuppertal to become an elementary school teacher. To return to “her” Nordschule Jülich, she made a little detour to a substitute teacher – it was worth it after all. It has been known for a long time that the fastest route is not always the best. HERZOG had a few questions for a young teacher from Jülich who is about to take the second state examination and for whom a long-awaited dream has come true – with her former class teacher as a mentor in the training.

If she herself had received a school cone on the first day of school as a new teacher at the Nordschule, what would have been born of it today?
“Definitely my teacher’s calendar, I won’t go anywhere without it. But also some chocolate as food for the nerves. And maybe our class animal. ” As Essling is still teaching in several classes, the animal has not yet been decided, but there is already one wish: “If I could choose it, it would be a crab. Children have pets until fourth grade. Then you don’t want to be a “duckling” anymore, she says with a smile.

Which book would you like to read under the cover tonight?
“Always loved to read, I came across ‘naughty crabs’ at a flea market. A book about a gang of girls. I will definitely read it. “

What sentence would her parents use today to send her to school on the first day of school?
“Definitely” be yourself and have fun. ” Free yourself and see what’s coming. And be who you are. And I think it fits – then and now. ” The relationship with her parents is very special and then very good. Her parents always supported her in everything. There was a lot of laughter at home and puberty wasn’t really a problem, Essling recalls fondly.

What were your favorite subjects back then?
“It has always been math. But during my studies I got to know and love my current main subject, general knowledge. Actually, I like to do everything, if you prepare it well, the math will be fun even for someone who doesn’t really like it. ” it had to be solved with King Kombinatorix. Then he had to help the knight Lionheart. Eventually the treasure chest opened and the students didn’t even notice that they were actually doing the math.

What does he like to eat and what does he do in his spare time?
“So pasta and pizza always work, Italian.” Her hobbies: cooking, reading and crafts. “It’s good if the teacher has a hobby as a handicraft,” he believes.

What was your best memory from your school days?
“I had a very nice time in primary school and I was a very young class teacher. We were always in touch, ”says Kyra Sophie Essling, describing a key aspect of her life. Teacher Andrea Lauprecht inspired her to become a teacher herself and is now also her mentor. This is a very special and very beautiful situation. “One is so slow as a child, I learned a lot and felt very comfortable. I can’t bring it down to one experience. “

What does she see now as the greatest challenge she faces?
“My last serious exam, my second state exam. When it comes to school: new children to adapt to ”.

What would you do then other than your teachers?
“Act according to the motto, loosely based on Gandhi: Be yourself, the change you want.” You absolutely need to be open to children. She met some teachers who did things differently. However, the former class teacher was a great example for her, and during the training she picked up the trifles of how she would like to do it later with her students.

What would you describe as success when you look at your teaching career later?
“I always love when the kids come back, whether it’s on the day off or later. To see that they are on the right track, best of my own experience ”.

How did she feel on the first day of school?
“Anyway, have fun. Of course, there is also a lot of emotion. ” It’s great when everyone tells about their experiences after the holidays. And tomorrow, the first lesson, “I-Dötzchen”, will be added. “It’s great this year that a lot is happening again. Family and friends can be there again when they start school. ” It was different during Corona. And then, of course, it’s good if the children can see their new teacher without a mask, with her expression on her face.

What do you want in the teaching profession?
Children come with very individual experiences and requirements, which is a huge challenge at work. This has changed a lot in recent years. Maybe because of Corona too, he thinks. But also because of the teachers’ perspective changed today. This was not the case before. “Maybe we were so individual and nobody noticed it,” he adds thoughtfully. Then digitization would be in full swing, and people would need to be educated to use media responsibly.
The lack of teachers, especially in primary schools, is a sad aspect and is met with a lot of cliche. “It’s not like we sing, clap and paint all day,” he says. One of the reasons why there is such a shortage in primary schools, and the percentage of women is so high, is that the pay is relatively lower than in secondary education. “We do at least as much work as everyone else,” he says clearly.

HERZOG wishes Kyra Sophie Essling and her future students all the best in their future careers, that things will go so well for them and that perhaps the crab will soon become their class animal.

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