If you enjoy accompanying and caring for children and adolescents and already have some experience, you might be interested in working as a school escort.
Today, we'll show you what to expect if you want to get into this field.
School companions, synonymous also school companions, school assistants or integration assistants, support children with mental disorders or with mental or physical impairments, who are taught at a regular school corresponding to their abilities, on a long-term and individual basis with the aim of integrating them into the school community and improving their practical, intellectual and social skills.
Pupils from special schools can also be supported by school companions if the special school cannot cover a special need with its own staff.
A prerequisite for the use of school assistants is that a pupil with special support needs can achieve learning progress in this way through predominant teaching in the class group.
Tasks and goals
The goal of school support is to enable a child with disabilities to achieve a general school-leaving qualification and to lead an independent life.
Support is provided in accordance with the learning objectives set out in a support plan and in consultation with the teachers. School escorts stay in the background as much as possible and only provide support when needed, in order to give the student the freedom to develop his or her independence. School companions also provide support during breaks and on the way to and from school, as well as during class trips, in study groups and in the context of compulsory school events.
The concrete tasks result from the individual impairment of the assisted pupil, but always include his/her motivation to continue working. Support services in the motor and physical areas may include, for example, operating equipment, dressing and undressing before and after sports and swimming lessons, accompanying the student to the toilet, moving a wheelchair and assisting with food intake.
School assistants also help with orientation on the way to school and on the school grounds, in communication (especially in the case of autistic children) and provide emotional support.
The students are guided by the school assistants to social behavior and gain confidence and security through their continuous presence. A school companion guides the child to de-escalating behavior, to increased frustration tolerance as well as to avoid stressful situations and shows ways to cope with stress. It also promotes and supports contact with classmates and communication between parents, child and school.
According to current case law, school guides are not allowed to take on pedagogical tasks in order to ensure that the costs of the integration measure are covered by the social welfare office. They are not teachers, but perform both care work and help in the classroom. Homework help is only part of their job if it is necessary in an individual case due to an impairment.
In view of the high demand for well-qualified school support staff, a separate professional group is gradually emerging, including academically trained school support staff.
Educators, child care workers and social assistants as well as graduates in social pedagogy are well qualified to work in school support services. However, pedagogical skills and empathy are more important than a specific technical background.
The guidelines issued by the individual federal states for the selection of school assistants usually stipulate that close relatives of the child to be assisted should not be used.
Retraining and support measures
Since no special training or retraining is required for the job, no promotional measures are necessary or possible either. However, we offer an induction and regular training that will enable you to settle in quickly. The basic requirement for you is the willingness to take on new challenges and to develop personally and professionally. We look forward to seeing you!