Sent by Nina La Rosa – Today I read online the comment of the famous comedian regarding the story of the teacher shot in the ball by the students in class, with the questionable message that emerges between the lines “the teacher asked for it because she was probably not empathetic / nice with students” , with a final invitation to ask yourself the question of having made the right professional choice in case of difficulty managing classes. I point out that the writer has been teaching for almost 25 years.
The association between the presumed incapacity to manage the class and the treatment suffered by the teacher seems to me scandalous, detrimental to the dignity of a human being even before that of a professional, and anti-educational.
The drift assumed by the school in recent years, exacerbated by the years of covid and distance learning, has not made us new to such episodes but Ms Littizzetto’s comment in this regard says a lot about the way in which the work of teachers is perceived , and I’m sorry because it comes from someone who has worked in the school world. Justifying incorrect behavior due to a presumed dislike or incapacity of the teacher, or at least unloading the blame for such episodes onto the teacher’s character means teaching the kids that everything – or almost everything – is lawful. We should not be surprised to read chronic events where children consider it completely normal to lay hands on their parents, let alone their peers.
Empathy is important in a teacher, but the ability to be a capable teacher should not be fully delegated to it. Precisely because we form future citizens, it is important to explain to young people or make them understand – that we need to know how to bring out the best, even in the apparently most disadvantageous situations, without ever losing sight of respect for human dignity. In their adult life, not always – indeed very rarely – they will meet people who will make empathy their banner: whether they are superiors at work, colleagues or even doctors.
It is therefore inadmissible to dismiss what happened as a joke – or worse, to blame the perfidious teacher who deserved the rubber dots, inviting her to change jobs.
It means paving the way for another hundred, thousand similar episodes. A teacher is a teacher, likeable or not. He is also a human being, and in the face of repeated defiant, intolerant or bullying attitudes from a class of 25/26/27 or even more pupils, I can imagine that the desire to be empathetic is sometimes humanly supplanted by all other kind of thoughts. Or does humanity only apply to those on the other side of the chair?
Kids cannot be taught that others are always to blame: it means raising a generation of individuals unable to handle frustrations and failures, two things with which again – alas – in adult life they will sometimes have to learn to deal with.
I firmly believe in educational dialogue, but this does not mean sometimes saying “no” that can serve more than ten “yes”. Without detracting from my professional competence.
I once again express my solidarity with the affected colleague (in every sense) and I hope that a serious and shared reflection on what the school world is becoming will soon really begin.