The severity of the frequent episodes, which see teachers insulted, mocked, beaten by pupils or their parents, goes beyond that of individual cases. It is in fact in front of a social phenomenon that sees the teachers disheartened, prevented from carrying out their work and, it should be said, their social mission.
Every authority of the professional figure of the teacher is lost and with it the respect for the person and the possibility itself of making a work of education. The impression is that the phenomenon is underestimated, especially when the perpetrators of violence are particularly young students, where they are sometimes led to believe that it is enough to apologise to get away with it.
The origin of what we witness is complex and long-standing. Others certainly have the competence to deepen their social causes, especially as it concerns not only our tiny island.
Respect for the teacher is essential. It is based on its professional capacity, made up of knowledge of the subject it teaches and updated teaching methods, but also on the authoritativeness that comes from the awareness of the unequal role that distinguishes those who teach from those who must learn. It is not irrelevant in the weakening of the function, but rather a sign of lack of appreciation, the painful economic treatment of teachers of all levels. In a society so attentive to money, salary is an important indication of the value that is assigned to the person who receives it.
A high quality education is in our society’s interest. The culture of young people leaving school, conditions the vitality and civilisation of the whole society and its democratic character. How can we defend democratic institutions from the growing dependence on ephemeral values and irresistible emotions or from the fascination of impossible promises spread by magical pied pipers to which successive rows of the population are queued? How, if not with the school, can we increase the critical capacity, the autonomy of thinking that make an individual a citizen, making it able to effectively participate in the social life of the country? At stake there is not only an effective “social elevator” that makes a rigid society such as ours dynamic, there are not only issues that affect the ability of students to participate in the competition for the workplace. At stake is the same precondition of the democratic life of our society.
Lately I came across this video of Russel Howard who talks about the teaching profession in such a crude but realistic way. Have a look!