Pilot, football player - or maybe nursery teacher?
When he grows up, Maximilian, aged 11, would actually like to be a pilot, a car salesman or a football player. But he spent this year’s Boys'Day on 27 April at Minihaus München, a private children’s nursery. “My mother and I wondered what I could do on Boys'Day and she came up with the idea that I could ask my old nursery”, the likeable Year 5 pupil explains. Indeed, a few years ago, Maximilian himself was one of the “minis” at the Bognerhof, an old farm in Trudering converted into space for seven crèche groups and two nursery school groups to play and grow up in.
Boys'Day – Jungen-Zukunftstag [day dedicated to boys’ futures] is a national day of careers guidance and life planning for boys. It has been held since 2011 and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. On Boys'Day, boys learn about careers or courses with a proportion of men below 40 per cent, e.g. in healthcare, care work, training, education or social work.
Maximilian is visiting Red Group “where I used to be,” he says. And he has even met one of his teachers from back then. “I recognized Maximilian at once,” Szabina Kiss is delighted to report. She welcomes Boys'Day as an important campaign. “We need men in this profession too. We unfortunately still have far too few male nursery teachers.” You see how important this is for children when male guests visit. “Male students on teaching practice, for example, are always very popular with the children,” says Szabina Kiss, “not just with the boys, but every bit as much with the girls.” It’s no different for Maximilian: “Everyone wants to sit next to him at breakfast,” the nursery teacher says with a laugh.
Maximilian plays with the 25 children in Red Group, does craft activities with them and eats with them all. “I like that I can help and can show younger children things,” he says. Like 5-year-old Celine, whom Maximilian helped make a bird’s nest out of clay.
The nursery manager at the Bognerhof, Leyla Özdemir, and her deputy Azra Smajic are pleased to have male reinforcements in the nursery: “It’s always brilliant for the children to have boys in the nursery - which is why we have participated every time so far,” says Azra Smajic. Leyla Özdemir wishes the boys could stay longer than just the half-day at the nursery: “It’s too short.”
Maximilian obviously thinks so, too. Shortly before the end of his day in the nursery, towards midday, he messages his mother: “It’s so cool here! Can I stay a bit longer?” Of course he was allowed to – perhaps “nursery teacher” will soon be appearing on Maximilian’s list of potential careers!
Minihaus München is participating in Boys'Day for the third time, offering young male pupils the opportunity of experiencing the job of nursery teacher at all nine of its nurseries. (jh)