We would like to welcome our new Reginal Training Center (ReFo) consultant, Mr. Clauspeter Wollenweber. He’s from Bonn and worked as the headmaster of the GGS Münsterschule – Montessori Primary School Bonn before moving to Chiang Mai. Below is an article from Mr. Wollenweber and you will find more detailed information about the ReFo and his roles.

“Prozessbegleiter? ReFo Centre? -What are you actually doing in Chiang Mai?”

They all asked me that. My former colleagues, parents from my former school, friends, even my own children, and my wife. Apparently, it is not self-explanatory what a “Prozssbegleiter” is and what a “ReFo Centre” is for. Every time I realize: “That’s not so easy to answer!” And then I get out and start describing what I’ve been doing in my new job here at the CDSC in Chiang Mai since August 2021 and what I’m responsible for.

“Prozessbegleiter for German schools abroad” is perhaps best translated as a kind of “management consultant” for these schools in terms of their school development work. On behalf of the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA), I accompany and advise the ten German schools abroad in Region M (Southeast Asia/Australia) in their school development process. In doing so, I have no supervisory function but am exclusively responsible for the process of development work. In principle, all teachers of the German Schools Abroad (DAS) are advised but mainly those responsible for the school development at the respective schools. This always relates to the individual school development goals of the respective school within the framework of the Quality Framework for German Schools Abroad. In this advisory role, I visit the schools in the region twice a year for two to three days, speak with the functionaries, take part in project and steering group meetings, moderate small workshops on various topics such as project management, change management, concept development, interviewing or communication. I can also be asked to prepare and moderate all-day training sessions with the entire teaching staff. Depending on the needs of the schools. Often it is about strategy planning, sometimes about conflict management, but also about assistance in re-evaluating current change situations and support in the search for solutions.

Until now, due to corona-related travel restrictions, I have almost only been able to do this advisory work virtually via video meetings. This is by far not as effective and sustainable as a face-to-face visit to the schools, but it works much better than expected.

The same applies to the “Regional Training Courses” (=>Regionale Fortbildung = ReFo!), which I am responsible for organizing, planning, facilitating, and, in some cases, implementing as part of my work at the Regional Training Center based here at the CDSC in Chiang Mai. 12 training courses a year for different target groups at the German schools abroad in “my” region have to be organized and planned in advance. There is close cooperation with the neighboring region N (Asia), in which the ReFos are partly advertised across regions. Due to the known travel restrictions in the past months, I have conducted all ReFos since the beginning of my work – differently than planned – in virtual format. I was already familiar with this from my work as a moderator for in-service training for school management at the Cologne district government. Here I planned and conducted many in-service trainings – in the last few months of my domestic activity also only online. But here, too, it is true that much more is possible than I had previously believed. And it’s really great fun!

“That’s what Dad does at work.” These are the words that usually end my attempt to explain. And usually, my listeners then have more questions than answers, which I gladly try to answer in further conversation. If you feel the same way, I would be pleased to hear from you – preferably by email at pb-chiang-mai@auslandsschulwesen.de.

Clauspeter Wollenweber, Prozessbegleiter für die Region Südostasien/Australien