Since 1872, teachers in Germany underwent a three-year probationary period similar to that of NY state teachers. During this probationary time, teachers are supervised and evaluated. Following World War II when Germany was divided into East and West nations, those teachers in West Germany would enjoy a lifetime tenure as civil servants known as “Beamtenstatus.” This was considered a true privilege.
After the countries were reunified, veteran teachers from East Germany were required to re-apply for teaching positions and endure two additional years of observation and evaluation. Once this time period ended, these teachers would rank up to the status of “Angestellte,” which identified them as salaried employees.
As teachers advance in their profession in Germany, they become eligible to be promoted to “Studienrat,” meaning “Study Advisor” and eventually “Oberstudienrat,” which means “Head Study Advisor.” Upon further promotion, the Oberstudienrat then transitions to become an assistant principal followed by principal of a school.
There is no formal training for principal work as there is in New York State. German principals still teach classes, evaluate teachers, schedule classes, and organize parent meetings.