The teacher Kai Erchinger of the Bertha von Suttner School in Nidderau on Corona and social behavior

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The Bertha von Suttner school in Nidderau-Heldenbergen. © Archive photo: Dagmar Gärtner

Kai Erchinger, a teacher at Bertha von Suttner School, talks about bullying in particular and the situation in schools in general. He says that bullying is an ongoing process that has partly intensified, on the one hand because of the Crown, but which is also socially conditioned by the use of social media, where many conflicts continue to break out.

Nidderau – Students were particularly interested in media using images such as Instagram. There, too, insults would be expressed and things would escalate because many things were no longer communicated verbally. Many things are communicated ambiguously through small images and many students no longer know what the images actually mean. This would lead to misunderstandings.

From Kai Erchinger's point of view, the loneliness of the students caused by the crown and the increased use of social media have increased bullying.
From Kai Erchinger’s point of view, the loneliness of the students caused by the crown and the increased use of social media have increased bullying. © Georgia Lori

The use of the media has increased a lot, especially in Corona times, based on the loneliness and isolation of the students. Unfortunately, the use of the media is no longer decreasing, even if in the meantime there has been largely a social opening. “This loneliness plays a very important role,” Erchinger believes. Personal meetings were severely interrupted by Corona. Contacts are maintained via social media.

Loneliness increases media use

There is a development, even among adults, where everyone is becoming a bit of a lone fighter. Everyone sees themselves as the most important individual and puts their needs first. New media have served this development enormously: if you start your computer or turn on your smartphone, you get immediate feedback. Wishes were granted without waiting.

Erchinger is also concerned about the younger generation’s lack of care for the older generation. This serious problem should be addressed by society as a whole, because the adult world is now also an example and this self-centeredness is widespread there too.

Too big classes, not enough teachers

Another huge challenge is Ukrainian refugee children. “Politics must do more than just warm words. Schools need to be better equipped in every respect, ”says Erchinger. Classes should be reduced in general. Currently, not even existing class sizes could be revoked. Not enough teaching staff just comes to get class sizes. The number of teachers should have almost doubled. At the moment, attempts are being made to fill the positions in some way, mostly with fixed-term contracts. It suffers from the number of the cast and the quality of the cast.

As for home education in Corona’s time, children would also have a hard time catching up, both professionally and socially. If there is no family support, schools could hardly react to this with their current equipment.

School social work helps “Bertha”

“Many students actually lost two years of their childhood,” says Erchinger. Existing deficits increased. In principle, all educational professions need to be updated, as this is the basis for subsequent decades, including for further political development. The schools themselves lack functioning heating, insulation and narrow roofs. “The situation in the schools is a disgrace, a shame,” says Erchinger. There should be a reassessment of the financial situation and the use of material possibilities. The training should be modified accordingly and the structure of the classes as well as the entire school organization.

Fortunately, school social assistance is involved at the Bertha von Sutter School. Conflicts are on the rise in society. “We should invest a lot more in future generations so that they are able to solve the problems we have left behind,” says Erchinger. (by Georgia Lori)

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