High school teacher

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Gymnasium teachers are civil servant or salaried teachers who are appointed or hired as employees of a federal state or a municipality in higher education and at gymnasiums or comprehensive schools in both lower secondary level (5th to 10th grade) and upper secondary level ( gymnasiale Oberstufe ) (11th to 13th, 11th to 12th or 10th to 12th grade, depending on the federal state). They are also used at study seminars , school authorities , ministries or universities and other educational institutions. In the 2019/2020 school year there are 176,706 teachers working at the grammar school in Germany.



Training for teaching at grammar schools takes place at universities in at least two to three elective subjects as well as pedagogy . After completing a scientific university degree , future high school teachers take the so-called first state examination. This is followed by a one-and-a-half to two-year legal traineeship , usually as a civil servant upon revocation, in which the trainee lawyers use the title of student trainee (StRef). The preparatory service for teaching at grammar schools is completed with the second state examination . The job title is associated assessor or assessor of the Magisterium. In addition, there are in some states, such as June 1, 2010 in Lower Saxony , the possibility of a career changers without clerkship directly into a civil service on a sample, such as a teacher to be taken over.

The legal clerkship in Baden-Württemberg is shortened to 18 months for applicants who started their studies after October 1, 2000 and who completed the practical semester during their studies . Trainee lawyers must hold the lessons independently after the first phase of training (i.e. after six months; in the case of a 24-month traineeship after one year). During this time her job title is senior trainee .

In Lower Saxony, the legal traineeship was shortened from 24 to 18 months on November 1, 1999, but is currently 24 months if, at the discretion of the state school authority, there are no internships or work experience activities in the scope of a school half year.

The Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH) awards graduates of a completed course for teaching at the secondary level II of the Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences and the Philosophical Faculty with the title of Diplom-Gymnasiallehrerin or Diplom-Gymnasiallehrer (Dipl. -Gyml.). This degree is awarded by the university if the first state examination has been successfully completed. A diploma thesis, as is usually the case, does not have to be submitted and publicly defended, since the state thesis replaces it.


In Austria, the introduction to the practical teaching post takes only one year, the diploma examination is already taken at the end of the course. Teachers in salary groups l pa and l 1 bear the title of professor , civil servants ( tenured ) high school teachers, after a certain number of years of service, also bear the professional title of senior student council , with which there is no change in pay. At least half of the permanent positions in a school are to be declared as permanent , the cancellation of which can only be declared in the event of a significant change in the relevant circumstances.


High school teachers complete a normal subject course at a university in two subjects. Teaching at grammar schools is possible from this point in time, but only leads to a temporary employment relationship (teaching assignment). That is why the degree (licentiate or MA / M.Sc.) Is usually followed by a two-year pedagogical training course (formerly: Higher teaching post in secondary schools; today: Master of Advanced Studies in Secondary and Higher Education, MAS SHE), which then leads to Employment as a middle school teacher with special assignments (MBA) can result.

Employment opportunities outside of high schools

Teachers who are qualified to teach at grammar schools can also be employed in the state school service at vocational schools , technical colleges , vocational high schools and business schools . There are also positions at private high schools and boarding schools . Likewise, grammar school teachers can teach at foreign grammar schools or at German schools abroad or be seconded there. You can also work as a research assistant at universities.


After employment in the state or municipal school service, an applicant in Germany is appointed as a study assessor (StAss) or a study councilor (StR) and thus a probationary civil servant, depending on the federal state .

After a probationary period of one to three years (depending on the grade in the second state examination and in the case of corresponding official assessments), in the case of the study assistant, an appointment to the study council (StR) takes place; However, this does not entail any promotion or increase in salaries, only civil servant status for life. If the hiring has already taken place as a student councilor, only the quality of a “ civil servant for life ” is conferred.

The next promotion offices are the Oberstudienrat (OStR) and the Director of Studies (StD). The offices are functional positions in some federal states and may only be awarded when taking on a function, for example as head of department, deputy headmaster or similar. The headmasters use the official title Oberstudiendirektor (OStD), at smaller grammar schools also study director.

In the school supervisory service and as a consultant in the school administration, the promotion offices are government school council (district level, RSR, A 14) or school council (district level, SR, A 14), government school director (district level, RSD, A 15) or school authority director (district level, SAD, A 15) and senior government school director (district level, LRSD, A 16) or senior school authority director (district level, LSAD, A 16). In addition, the school administration appoints teachers under the official titles if they only work temporarily for the administration (e.g. as technical advisors).

Both civil servant and salaried high school teachers, like other university graduates in the public service, are paid according to the salary or remuneration tables specified for the higher service (A 13 – A 16 for civil servants and salary group 13–15 TVöDL for salaried employees).

tasks and activities

The teachers teach, educate and advise on their own responsibility within a framework prescribed by law ( educational freedom ). In addition to the fixed lesson times, there are class preparation, corrections, conferences, preparation for the Abitur, school program work, substitution lessons, anticipatory hours, comparison work, curriculum work, further training measures, portfolio maintenance, class trips, hiking days and, if necessary, other school events (parents' evenings, parenting days, open days, honor evenings, theater performances , High school graduation celebrations, school celebrations, project weeks etc.) as well as educational measures (support plans, meditation days, competitions, drug prevention days etc.) to coordinate and carry out. Projects with extracurricular cooperation partners (advice centers, authorities, companies, state and private research or educational institutions) as well as student exchange projects with foreign students and teachers are also expected. In addition, one of the duties is to inform oneself about the current developments in school law.

Job opportunities and risks

The career opportunities depend on the combination of subjects, the grades in the state exams, the state and your own presentation at job interviews. According to the Hessian Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs , the average chance of recruitment independent of the subject will drop from 30 percent in 2003 to 25 percent in 2008, so that unemployment can represent an occupational risk for high school teachers. In addition, due to the wide range of tasks and the relatively high teaching obligation by international standards, a high workload can be expected.

High school teacher workload, satisfaction, and health

The study “Teachers' working time in transition” (LaiW) by the German Association of Philologists, published in March 2020, came to the conclusion that “The majority of grammar school teachers in Germany are highly stressed at work: two thirds of the more than 176,000 grammar school teachers in Germany experience a high or high level of everyday school life high occupational stress. Nevertheless, there is a high work ethic and mastering the workload thanks to a pronounced willingness to perform ”. The average working time is 45 hours a week, with a large proportion of the teachers surveyed exceeding this. According to this, 46 percent even work more than 45 hours. The clear majority of teachers (78 percent) are absent only a few days a year due to illness. With nine out of ten teachers it happens within a year that they go to work despite feeling sick - with more than a third even against a doctor's recommendation. Long working hours are a burden: four out of ten respondents said they slept poorly. The study was carried out by the Institute for Preventive Medicine at Rostock University Medical Center - supported by DAK-Gesundheit . With over 16,000 evaluated data sets of the high school teachers surveyed online, it is the most comprehensive survey on this topic to date. Another study from 2007 determined an average weekly working time of 62.5 hours for high school teachers in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Professional associations and unions

A rather conservative professional association for grammar school teachers is the German Association of Philologists (DPhV). High school teachers are also organized in the Education and Science Union (GEW) and the Education and Training Association (VBE). DPhV, GEW and VBE are divided into individual state associations.

See also

Portal: Education  - Overview of Wikipedia content on education


  • Henrik Bispinck: educated citizens in democracy and dictatorship. Teachers at secondary schools in Mecklenburg 1918 to 1961 , Munich 2011.
  • Winfried Marotzki (Hrsg.): Educational science for high school teachers . Deutscher Studien-Verlag, Weinheim 1996, ISBN 3-89271-652-8
  • Rainer Bölling: Social history of the German teachers. An overview from 1800 to the present. Göttingen 1983
  • Winfried Hacker and Klaus Scheuch (eds.): Innovation resources - intellectual and creative activity during the entire work span. How can hospital doctors and high school teachers grow old healthy and productive in their jobs? Technical University Dresden. Roderer, Regensburg 2005, ISBN 3-89783-470-7

Web links

Wiktionary: High school teacher  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. https://www.dphv.de/aktuell/nachrichten/details/article/laiw-studie-lehrerarbeit-im-wandel.html
  2. Archived copy ( Memento of the original from May 16, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.mk.niedersachsen.de
  3. Regulations for the award of the degree of qualified grammar school teacher based on a state examination of the Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Philosophy from January 12, 2004 PDF . Official announcement No. 844 of the RWTH Aachen from January 15, 2004.
  4. ↑ Need for teachers at Hessian grammar schools ( Memento from June 29, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file)
  5. teacher's salaries, teacher's working hours; international comparison from the newspaper Le Monde of September 6, 2003 ( Memento of August 2, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  6. https://www.dphv.de/aktuell/nachrichten/details/article/laiw-studie-lehrerarbeit-im-wandel.html
  7. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/bildung/arbeitszeit-lehrer-gymnasium-1.4838043
  8. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/bildung/arbeitszeit-lehrer-gymnasium-1.4838043
  9. Working hours of teachers in North Rhine-Westphalia (PDF) page 20.