Every year, the first few weeks at the DMSB are all about getting to know each other: the school, the city and everyone involved in the course. Team-building is particularly important here. New knowledge and proficiencies as well as acquired skills can be better absorbed and applied in a good teaching-learning environment. The DMSB team has therefore been welcoming students at the semester start for several years with various introductory events that make it easier for freshers to find their feet.
To give you an overview, here is an example from the start of last year’s semester. At the beginning of the first day, the freshers got to know others in their own group. The teaching team introduced themselves and briefly explained the system at the DMSB. After introductory words by Director of Studies Mr. Georg Böttcher, everyone explored the school together during a short tour of the building. This was followed in the afternoon by the big round of introductions with the sophomores – including ice cream, distancing, and lots of fresh air outdoors.
On the second day – after a session of “prosaic formalities” – a city tour of Braunschweig was on the agenda. The freshers explored the many highlights and distinctive areas of the city center. In addition to the city hall, castle, Sternenhaus and Quadriga and many other sights, they also explored institutions such as the Cafe Haertl and the Dönerdreieck. The mixed teams of freshers and sophomores brought back selfies of the places they had visited from their individual tours, meaning afterwards everyone could talk about what they had discovered in their new home and share ideas. The tour ended with a big “welcome” in the rooftop bar “Soldekk” – a beach above the rooftops of Braunschweig. From here, everyone could once again enjoy the view over the city. Quite a few were delighted to discover that Braunschweig is a really nice place to study. These get-togethers always lead to special moments, interesting conversations – and hopefully many long-lasting friendships.
On the afternoon of the third day, freshers and sophomores were taken on a field trip. The freshers got to know “Mühle Sack”, a company based in Langelsheim, while the sophomores visited “Bühler GmbH” in Braunschweig. The participants learned a lot of interesting facts about the companies and at the same time got to know each other better to grow together as a team. Various events for the new semester were also held at the school on the last two days of the induction week. After all, the aim is for all graduates to leave the DMSB stronger than when they started – also in their future role as leaders. These role understanding and personal development skills are practiced and trained just as much as the acquisition of traditional specialist knowledge.
To this end, we carried out the so-called skills mirror procedure with the students. This is a procedure to uncover one’s own personal skills. It helps us to learn that not only qualifications and certificates are key for our personalities, but so are many other characteristics too. The skills mirror procedure is also used to practice self-reflection and reflection on others, as well as giving and accepting constructive feedback. Throughout the process, personal strengths and development potential are identified, which in turn lead to individual minor, medium or major goals to enhance and expand one’s own skill set. This process serves as a basis for initiating a coaching process, for example. Students also gain new experience of the topic of leadership and find their own role.
The first week at the DMSB is exciting and varied and helps students to get to know the school and the city as well as themselves. It helps the students to come together as a team and become a community. Boosted for the exciting time ahead at the DMSB.
We all hope that we will be able to continue teaching in person. However, if homeschooling is necessary, we have now found a good way of meeting the challenge. Teaching on the PC is different – but just as sound.