His Right School in Giessen cares for sick children

For some children, a stay in a clinic means painful therapy, surgery, separation from family, isolation, boredom, a high-tech environment, and the fear of never fully recovering. The school comes completely out of focus in the beginning.

However, children with oncological diseases receive chemotherapy again and again, while others wait months in the pediatric intensive care unit of a donor organ. Children with cystic fibrosis or diabetes are repeatedly admitted for medication adjustments. But accidents, infections, neurological or psychosomatic illnesses also lead to long hospital stays.

When children are torn out of everyday life by their illness and miss out on regular schooling, concerns arise as to whether they can still return to their class or have missed the connection, whether they will lose their classmates and friends. That is why Hans Rettig Skolen exists.

Close contact with the home school

Principal Frauke Döll reports: “Some students need to curb their enthusiasm for learning while they are sick, and others need to be activated to learn or torn out of their lethargy. Educators need a sense of the sick child to be able to provide “a contribution to improving the health or healing of the sick child far beyond the work relevant to school materials. Lessons not only distract from the disease but also bring back familiar structures. The lessons must lead the children out of their forced passivity.”

High demands are placed on teachers. You need “gut feeling”, flexibility and a lot of empathy so that trust can be developed between the students and the teacher. In addition, the teaching of the core subjects mathematics, German and foreign languages ​​must not create performance pressure, as the focus is on illness or improvement. At the same time, the subject matter should correspond to the home school’s for later reintegration. This requires close contact with the home school. Teachers have to adapt to a wide range of textbooks because their sick students come from Hesse, but also from the other federal states, even from abroad. If there is nothing against the medical side, the teaching will take place.

No restrictions under Corona

Still, the teacher must be prepared for changes during the lesson. Anything can happen at any time.

The work areas at a hospital school differ from ordinary schools, for example in that the colleagues at a hospital school regularly participate in meetings with doctors and medical staff, but do not go on class trips or parent evenings.

The hospital could also continue to work unchanged and without restrictions in the present throughout the Corona period. Because the teachers at Hans Rettig School are treated as medical staff in the clinic. They are all fully vaccinated, tested daily and receive appropriate protective equipment from the clinic.

Up to 100 students receive tuition

Every week, between 60 and 100 students from all school forms, from kindergarten to vocational school to high school, are currently taught by twelve teachers.

In addition to teaching in the clinic, the teachers at Hans Rettig School also provide special education at home if the sick students are not allowed to come to their home schools immediately after admission.

If the illness is over, the children strike a colored handprint on the white wall of the school, but especially on the walls of the wards, like a goodbye. The walls are getting more and more colorful.

The history of the school began in 1960 with a congress in Berlin. Prof. Dr. His Right. He was so enthusiastic about the idea of ​​teaching sick children, as in Berlin, that he had seconded teachers teach on an hourly basis in his orthopedic clinic in Giessen. The school was recognized on October 29, 1971 by the state of Hesse as an independent public “special school for the sick”. In 1989, the clinic school took over the name of the initiator: Hans Rettig Skole.

By Jonathan Hundt, 8a, Gymnasium Philippinum

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