Taiwanese-born Shih-Yen Bayer arrived in Germany in 2014. After completing adaptation training at a child daycare centre, she received full recognition as a nursery teacher. She now works at a nursery school in Kehl.
„For me, recognition means a good experience which has not only benefited me professionally.“
Taiwanese-born Shih-Yen Bayer came to Germany because of love in 2014, bringing with her a Masters degree in Family Pedagogy and Early Childhood Education. She had already gained professional experience as a nursery teacher in her home country. This led her to assume that she would also be able to find a job in her chosen occupation in Germany. “I sent off applications to nursery school, but was unsuccessful because I didn’t have any experience in Germany.” Until this point, she had also been unaware that she would not be permitted to work as a nursery teacher in Germany without acquiring recognition. Shih-Yen was initially extremely disappointed.
However, she displayed great persistence by studying hard to learn German and completing two practical placements at nursery schools. Her husband was then able to provide a crucial piece of advice. He had found out via the Internet that his wife needed to undergo a recognition procedure for the relevant professional qualification as a state-recognised nursery school teacher. Before Shih-Yen Bayer submitted her application to the appropriate competent body, she sought support from the Recognition Guidance Service of the State of Bremen (Senate Office for Economic Affairs, Labour and Ports), an agency which is financed via the “Integration through Training – (IQ)” funding programme and was able to help her to collate the necessary documentation. Shih-Yen had already arranged for her certificates to be translated. The competent body in question, the Senate Office for Children and Education, was then able to deal with everything very quickly. “I only visited once and submitted all my documents.”
The good preparations that Shih-Yen Bayer had made certainly paid dividends. She received the result only three months later, when she learned that her degree had been recognised. The only thing now preventing her from exercising the profession of nursery school teacher was the practical element of the relevant vocational education and training. In order to demonstrate this, she needed to complete adaptation period. Shih-Yen Bayer showed initiative by carrying out her own online research and soon came across the childcare centre run by the Parish of St. Thomas in Bremen. She visited the centre for a brief period of observation before going on to complete her adaptation period there. During this time, she received specialist and language support from the Technical School of Social Pedagogy and Special Education, a state-recognised private institution which comes under the auspices of the Bremen Joint Educational Institute. Shih-Yen attended additional theoretical modules at the school twice a week and was finally able to overcome the greatest hurdle that faced her – the oral and written final examination. “I found the language difficult. I had to do a lot of talking, and it was really demanding and stressful. But my teacher encouraged me, and told me that I would gain experience by making mistakes.” In the end, everything worked out. Although this was not an easy time for Shih-Yen Bayer, she found it to be highly instructive. “The adaptation period was a good experience for me. I learned a lot. I didn’t just gain professional knowledge, I now have a much better understanding of the German culture and way of life.”
Shih-Yen Bayer is now working as a nursery school teacher at a kindergarten in Kehl and is also continuing with her studies of German. She sums up the whole experience with some degree of pride. “There were times when I wasn’t sure whether I would make it. But there were always people there to back me up. That gave me the strength to carry on. I’m really happy here and enjoy working with the children, my colleagues and the parents.”
The interview with Shih-Yen Bayer took place in September 2017. During the recognition procedure, she received advice and support from the Recognition Guidance Service of the State of Bremen (in conjunction with the Chamber of Employees and the Bremerhaven Initial and Advanced Training Centre) and from the Bremen Joint Educational Institute. Both of these institutions are sub-projects within the scope of the “Integration through Qualification” funding programme (IQ).