“There were talented people who could speak German fluently after three months”

“There were talented people who could speak German fluently after three months”
Johannes Moshammer
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Johannes Moshammer (59) has been running Middle School 8 in Lichtenegg for seven years. “I really enjoyed being a teacher and actually only became principal because I was pushed by my colleagues and none of the older teachers applied for the job,” admits the principal.

He doesn’t regret his decision. Nevertheless, the beginning was difficult and filled with many hurdles. With an innovative concept, Moshammer managed to not only stop the loss of students in the Wels hotspot school: “Today, MS 8 has almost 90 more students than before I took office.”

Springboard for high school

Three main focal points brought about the change. The school saw itself as a springboard for the upper level. Since then, students with AHS qualifications who are aiming for a Matura have been able to take part in special support programs. Anyone who decides to do an apprenticeship early on will be intensively prepared for professional life in the third and fourth grades. In order to create more practical relevance, the MS 8 was able to win over Welser companies such as rope manufacturer Teufelberger. Anyone who doesn’t like one or the other model has a free choice. In addition to the compulsory items, you can make the appropriate selection from the optional items.

Meeting areas have been set up in the school building, which not only promote exchange between students, but also create space for new friendships. The equipment of the MS 8 makes many other schools in the country green with envy. With financial support from the municipality and the ministry, modern rooms for physics, chemistry, crafts and music were created. In the new inner courtyard you will find smart boards, study corners and relaxation areas.

Of course, Moshammer’s everyday working life also has many dark sides. “Working in a hotspot school is challenging. Last year, 20 teachers left us. This can be explained by the fact that the proportion of core teachers is low.” Young teachers are more flexible in choosing their workplace than older teachers and often teach at two schools at the same time. “If a position becomes available in a commercial college or in a compulsory school near where we live, we are usually left behind,” says the school director.

According to Moshammer, a three-year location commitment would help. “The education directorate would be in favor of it, but the union rejects it.”

Good students and illiterate

School social workers and school assistants support the teachers in their work. Only a few children have Austrian roots. Only a small proportion of children with a migration background cause problems. There were crimes and police operations. The consequences would be felt directly at school, as Moshammer explains: “If something happens, we will be contacted first and then the police.” Among the newcomers, as the school director describes them, there are really good students who could speak German in three months. “In the same way, we have illiterate people who remain so despite intensive support.”

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