Hendrik Stoye is headmaster of the Hermann Ferres elementary school in Niemberg, a village of 1,500 inhabitants near the city of Halle. Since 1991, the 55-year-old has headed various schools in Saxony-Anhalt. "The problems have never been as massive as this school year," he says. And means the lack of teachers. In the interview, the director talks about his anger at the Ministry of Education, worried parents, overtime - and German lessons with 51 students in the classroom.

ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Stoye, the lack of teachers at primary schools in the next few years will be even more engraving than expected. According to a Bertelsmann study, there are about 26,000 teachers missing by 2025 - which are significantly more than the ministers of education have calculated. Does this miscalculation make you angry?

Hendrik Stoye: Yes . It annoys me that politics has not responded for so long. In Saxony-Anhalthat, SPD Finance Minister Jens Bullerjahn cut posts at schools between 2006 and 2016. Although it was known that the average age of teachers in the country is high and many were close to retirement, Bullerjahn has done the opposite of what was needed: instead of investing in the future of our children, he has a growing need Teachers ignored. I also do not understand why it is difficult for the Ministers of Culture to evaluate the birth rates. As headmaster, I also get the numbers up early to plan.

ZEIT ONLINE: At your elementary school you have been a threesome for one year: a teacher, a teacher and you as the rector. They are responsible for 105 pupils in four classes. How do you beat yourself in everyday life?

Stoye: That's right, our regular staff has unfortunately shrunk to three people. Actually, there are five of us: four teachers and a rector. But one colleague is currently on parental leave, another falls away because of illness for more than a year. We should get a new teacher this school year. A few days before the beginning of the school year in August, we learned that she can not start until October. Fortunately, the Provincial School Office has organized replacement. One of the neighboring schools now lends us a colleague for 20 hours a week. With such secondments we stay afloat. We can only offer ethics, religion and music anyway, because some colleagues from the surrounding schools join us.

ZEIT ONLINE: Can you cover the other subjects?

Stoye: Unfortunately, English, characters and special education are currently falling behind. The main subjects - German, math, homeland and subject - we can fortunately cover. We split up so that the two remaining primary teachers, the teacher and I each lead a class. Our contingent, in Saxony-Anhalt is 27 hours a week, we use for the main subjects and a bit of physical education. As long as nobody fails, that works quite well. No one can get over a cold here. Last week, a colleague unfortunately got caught sorichtig. On Monday morning, she called, "It's just not possible." And missed three days.

ZEIT ONLINE: How did you compensate for the loss?

Stoye: By teaching their second graders along with my first grade. There was nothing else left for me. 51 students sat in front of me. Just make it a little paint - in our situation that might be correct. But I have a higher claim. So I had to get creative: I taught the first-graders another letter of the alphabet. The second graders wrote down words and sentences in which this letter appears.

ZEIT ONLINE: How many hours per week do you work more than planned in this school year?

Stoye: As principal of a primary school, I would normally not teach 27 hours a week, but use part of that quota for my leadership duties. They always stay until afternoon. After class, students have to supervise them until they leave the school grounds. This is actually the job of a pedagogical expert who we do not currently have. I can not exactly calculate my working hours. It is definitely about ten hours more than under normal circumstances. I like to be headmaster, but the situation is on our nerves. My colleagues and I are glad that October 1 is approaching. We are optimistic that we will then really gain.

ZEIT ONLINE: Actually, the two vacant posts were already tendered in the last school year. However, no one was hired. Are not there any applicants?