Educators with the heart in the right place

A conversation with the three sisters Christina, Janina and Katharina Hecker who work as nursery teachers at the ‘Schatzinsel’ nursery school


‘Being a nursery teacher is a real vocation. When you decide on a profession, it says something about your attitude towards life,’ says Katharina Hecker. Together with her sisters Christina and Janina, she works at the ‘Schatzinsel’ nursery, the Schwarz Group company nursery school, run by Phorms Education. The nursery at the Erlenbach site consists of three buildings – ‘Waldhaus’, ‘Baumhaus’ and ‘Turmhaus’. The three sisters work in the three buildings. For twins Katharina and Christina it became clear very early on that they wanted to be nursery teachers.

‘The wonderful thing about what we do is that it’s so lively and varied,’ says Christina. The sisters greet the children in the morning, chat to parents, sit with the children at breakfast, play or sing with them and record the development of every single child, or take on nursing duties. Younger sister Janina also realised early on that she wanted to follow in her big sisters’ footsteps. ‘Katharina and Christina often used to play and do crafts with me and look after me – just like real nursery teachers.’

The teachers have their own educational space in the nursery where they can contribute their own ideas. ‘Because creativity is my strength, I’m responsible for the “atelier”,’ says Christina. She ensures that there are plenty of different materials for the kids as well as stimuli to really fire their creativity. Meanwhile, Katharina runs the ‘roleplay room’, where the children can play different characters and imitate the habits of the nursery teachers. ‘It’s absolutely amazing how perceptive and sensitive the little ones are to their environment,’ says Katharina. When there’s a shift in the grown-ups’ mood, the children notice it immediately. ‘They just take you in their arms and hug you. It’s really amazing what you can get from children,’ says Christina. That is what makes this job so special for the sisters – the joy of working with children and helping them develop and grow through play. The three of them all agree: ‘When you’re a nursery teacher, your heart has to be in the right place.’           

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