How beautiful school is: it's worse outside

«Don't worry, madam, we can see you soon. I have a free place on Wednesday, late in the morning ». It seemed like good news for a desperate mother and with a son who in the second year of high school gave worrying signs of unease. Oppositional. Intractable. For several months he had found refuge in smoke. Including rods. In the morning he didn't want to get up, helping to make the family situation particularly difficult. Dumbfounded, I collected this answer: «… Prof, but on Wednesday late in the morning he should skip school». With a joke I tried to reassure her: “If Enrico skips school for a day it could only do him good.” Mother's laughter caught the heart of my message.

I repeat it for too long: there are school situations that do not help our kids. With excessively large classes and some inadequate teachers who know nothing about the experience of our teenagers. Professionalism, empathy and relationship skills: zero or almost. A girl, days ago, pointed out to me her hatred for a subject: philosophy. The teacher had set his lessons on the notes taken at the university. Forcing students to study them with absolute precision. Divergent interpretations were not allowed.

These and many others are the situations that lead me to imagine, at times, almost a sort of beneficial departure from a school which when it takes on these characteristics becomes unbearable suffering. The interruption of the school activity foreseen by the contingency of the coronavirus seemed to me, therefore, an extraordinary opportunity to carry out personal searches, comparisons, important readings, with visits to museums that we have never considered and much more. With a different horizon in everyday life.

Down the curtain, I said to myself , we have days to do interesting things. Without the constraint of tasks, dated notes and senseless evaluations that represent a bad but unfortunately faithful business card of the poverty of some school contexts. Soon after, our students found themselves in a country plunged into a situation of pure madness. We should have entrusted our intelligence with a greater capacity for direction and balance, characteristics that many people have lost, starting with some governors of the regions who, in serious delay, had to admit that they had exaggerated.

It will not take a few months to recover a reality that we have senselessly sunk. Now, only now, do you realize it. Maybe too late. It was necessary to listen more carefully to the opinion of some doctors and virologists who work every day in hospitals.

The obligation to recover common sense and measurement puts me almost in a position to review my opinion on the school. Maybe suggesting to our philosophy teacher to abandon her misleading and useless notes. Teachers must recover sympathy, authority, communication skills and great sensitivity in supporting students in difficulty. While I wish everyone, adults and teenagers, a peaceful recovery of their work, I have to change my mind about Enrico's mother. Maybe he was right. With a little sadness, I have to change my thinking: let's go back to school, kids. As fast as possible. It's worse outside.

March 7 2020 (change March 7 2020 | 10: 18)