“We are increasingly alone but being a teacher has not become a more dangerous profession, but a more necessary profession.” He claims Valentina Petriteacher at a vocational institute in Vercelli, writer about school and life as a teacher.
Petri, there have already been 27 attacks at the school since January, 36 last year. What happened?
«The school is not an island, what happens outside also happens. “If there is an increase in cases of violence in society, they also increase in the classrooms.”
What’s behind this?
«Each case is a story in itself but I think there is a very strong educational need. These episodes are a sign of enormous unrest that leads to violence. And teachers are on the front line, like emergency doctors, caring for an already very fragile segment of people, adolescents, who even in the most optimistic hypotheses face their difficulties due to their age and the stage of evolution they are going through. “.
There have also been cases of principals slapped by their parents and teachers hit on the head by family members.
«The presence of families has become very strong. And it is so desirable and necessary when it is constructive, it is so harmful when it delegitimizes the work of teachers, when it wants to explain to you how our work is done: very difficult to manage.”
What can a teacher do?
«Just our job, fighting hard to build relationships with students. “This enormous work can last a quarter, two, sometimes five years, sometimes we don’t even know if it has borne fruit but we cannot give up.”
Minister Valditara requests that the conduct reform be approved immediately. Students say we need more psychological assistance. What do you think?
«That you can do both. The immediate response is a harsh sanction, the imposition of a rule, but the behavior mark alone is a sterile slogan: a violent child does not automatically behave well after a suspension or a failure. Sanctioning is fine but then there must be time to understand, build and educate. Children’s requests for resources for psychologists at school are often dismissed with, “We were better educated and we had nothing.” It is a superficiality within the superficiality. “Those who have the power and tools to do so should look at this more broadly and intervene.”
Does the crisis of the school as an institution contribute to violence?
«The job of a teacher no longer has the social appeal it once had. No one is attracted to the zeros in the salary, the bureaucracy has put the burden on us at eleven o’clock, and while everyone goes crazy for the teacher played by Alessandro Gassman, who picks up and takes the children out, they control us like the warehouse from Amazon. workers. And from the outside we continue to be victims of the stereotype of the privileged with three months of vacation.”
Is it still worth teaching?
“To me it’s like asking someone in war if lives are worth saving: it’s always worth it.”
He does it professionally. Are these really the hardest schools?
«They have this reputation although often, when you work on them, you discover that it is not true. Of course, these are schools that also have a social value, in which we have to deal with more fragile children or those who come from difficult backgrounds. But they are the schools where you really feel the pulse of the country, those that put you in contact with reality far from stereotypes, proclamations, fiction. Teaching here is worth two, three, a thousand times more because each result achieved is worth three times and is useful for everyone. It seems rhetorical, but after 10 years of vocational training I still would never change schools.”