SCHOOL / Vice-principal or “substitute”, here is the toad, for which two lives are not enough

“Amphibian”: from Greek amphibians“From the double life” (…) Of an animal or vegetable organism capable of living in two different environments, aquatic or terrestrial “. Dictionary Treccani defines some animals; but the adjective “amphibian”, for those who work in the school world, evokes a certain figure, between the management and the teaching staff: that is, vice-principal, or better, as it is more correctly said today, pastor of the leadership school. The vice-principal was once a longtime teacher at an institute that took on the honor and burden, in a world where school bureaucracy was still limited, filling out the form, writing and checking the circulars. , to help with the secretariat, to welcome newly hired teachers in the role or in the 1st position and so on.

Today, however, high schools (primary or secondary) have become more and more complex in terms of organization and in their activities and have often been merged into comprehensive institutions with thousands of students of very different ages (from childhood school at the time)). comes from families of all kinds, with the most diverse needs and demands, and an increasingly complex organization: the responsibilities and competencies of the leader become ever greater, so that the figure of the priest also becomes vital, indispensable figure to act as a hinge and node – and I will say, as a facilitator – in a body – the school institution – which has become of an inconceivable complexity to those who do not live it from within, or to those who remember how school was only a few decades ago.

To be able to solve this task in the best possible way, given that even the teacher’s work has gradually been burdened with an increasing amount of bureaucratic demands and I would say even threatening (the “school papers” as a colleague calls them when she is buried between Pdp, monitoring the same , planning, final reports, planning the disciplinary area and so on and so forth), the pastor usually has dispensation from curriculum teaching hours.

But beware: the exception is neither automatic nor total: it depends on the size and complexity of the institution. Since no one is a masochist, it is normal for a person to work as a teacher because they like to stay in class and teach: but since the hours of the day are only 24 – and some of them must also be dedicated to sleeping and to the family – and the chores are many, both for those in the classroom and for those who perform organizational and attachment activities, it is therefore implied that the leader’s pastor is a figure who must have an iron mental balance, and bombproof. nerves.

Not to mention that, as we have seen in recent years, it is the clergy who very often constitute a kind of historical reminder of the institute, often as long-term teachers, while recent insolvency proceedings have led to the hiring of new people. managerial; who, in turn, were often strong with a long-standing business as a parish priest in the schools of origin, of a quite different order and type in relation to the institutes they went to lead.

Yet this role still has no form of effective formal recognition. In fact, there is a shortage of them in the Italian school, which we in other areas, including the public service, would call “middle managers”: this is an old problem and in fact never solved, also because it has never been taken seriously. .

In this way, everything is left to common sense, to the good will, to the energies of the individual, basically to their sense of duty and service, so that the school functions properly. This is a big problem because the tasks that the DS partner deals with are so many, and so cross-cutting, that it is very difficult to keep a complete list: They range from orientation meetings for students to class formation, from preparation of schedule. for the reception of parents of pupils with special needs (passage from or to other institutions) for the organization of special activities or for remedial courses, for the allocation of daily substitutes; which in schools with over one hundred and fifty teachers, as often happens, becomes a very demanding activity.

As you can see, this is a lot of work that certainly does not end at the sound of the bell that decrees the end of the lessons, yes, which continues every day for several hours later. Not to mention the skills (professional, relational and so on and so forth) that are necessary to perform the activity of the pastor in the best possible way, skills that will not spoil the skills by a professional diplomat.

And then when you think that all in all, teachers work only a little, only 18 hours a week and have twelve weeks of vacation a year… yes, meditators, folks, meditators.

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