School service: retraining to become a teacher


The profession of teacher is a multifaceted, responsible and often challenging task. It is diverse because there are not only teachers in the traditional school, but also vocational teachers, teachers in sports and recreation, and teachers in adult education.

Very different requirements are placed on each of them. In addition to the actual teaching, the life of a teacher also includes preparation and follow-up work, which often takes place late into the night. The profession is responsible, as it involves dealing professionally with a wide range of training-related and interpersonal problems.

Knowledge of psychology and conversation skills are very helpful here. The profession of a teacher can be challenging, because you always have to adjust to your counterpart individually, without losing the eye for self-criticism.


Depending on the position sought, different entry requirements come into play. Due to the ongoing teacher shortage in many German states, lateral entrants without a teaching degree are admitted if they have a degree in a relevant shortage subject (z.B. music, physics, mathematics). If the lateral entrants also meet the age limit of 40 years in most cases, they can hope to be recruited directly into the traineeship.

The decision after proper application is made by the responsible ministries of education of the federal states. In many German states, this model applies equally to Hauptschulen, Realschulen and vocational schools. For example.B. At grammar schools, music and physics teachers are particularly sought after.
Those who would rather build a future in adult education can usually take a trainer’s license or the exam to become an instructor in adult education via suitable state-recognized distance or classroom courses. The entry requirements are usually designed very openly and make it possible to acquire knowledge in the new occupational field at any age.

Duration and content of retraining to become a teacher

The traineeship lasts between 12 and 24 months, depending on the regulations in the respective federal state. It serves primarily as a preparatory course to underpin the theoretical knowledge gained from the course with practical teaching experience.

Recognized additional studies or advanced courses lead to the trainer’s license in a period of 9 months to 3 years depending on the course provider or. of a certificate for the work as a lecturer in adult education. In addition to methodological aspects, the content of these courses will often include psychology, counseling practice, interviewing and record keeping. Their primary purpose is to give the graduate a good foundation for independent work in the new occupational field.

Conclusion and perspectives

The Referendariat concludes with the 2. The traineeship ends with the state examination and enables the trainee to be employed as a teacher, preferably in the respective federal state. If personal circumstances change, it may also be possible to transfer to another federal state at a later date. Generally speaking, the prospects for career changers in the teaching profession are very good if they represent sought-after shortage subjects.

Advanced or additional courses of study are usually concluded with an internal school examination and end with the issue of a certificate.

Funding opportunities

The traineeship is a normal employment relationship in the public service and is regularly remunerated according to the collective agreement for trainee lawyers. The additional courses of study to become a trainer or lecturer in adult education are associated with training costs depending on the educational institution and course. In the case of state-certified courses, partial financing via education vouchers is often possible. For more information on this and other financial assistance, please contact your local employment agency.

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