We interview Laura Razzano. A very experienced teacher and trade unionist from Novara gives us in the interview Razzano a critical overview of our school above all, of the primary school and of the problems that today affect teachers between excessive bureaucracy and the awareness to perform a delicate and strategic work for the country future, but as well as underpaid also undervalued. But let’s pass the word on to Laura Razzano.
Maestra Razzano has been following the teachers ‘problems for years, especially in kindergarten and primary school, her trade union activity is well known in the province of Novara, where she represents the teachers’ union.
Can you briefly describe the problems in the Novara school? What are the problems that teachers who turn to your union most often give you?
I would like to say that every day I face lawsuits for hours that have been overworked, refresher courses that have been mistakenly approved as mandatory, and service orders that force teachers to be on guard or even porter jobs for classroom relocations at the end of In the summer. I can not say this, because even though there are well-founded reasons to go to a judge every day, colleagues need to check career rebuilds, know when they will be able to retire and learn the ABCs of their rights. For the precarious ones who are least protected for the same job, the requests relate to all the procedures so as not to lose the series of questions, updates, contests and to get some more points in the rankings. Finally, there is part of the work that sees me, along with teachers, being hit, often unfairly, by disciplinary disputes and bureaucratic harassment. Never as in recent years have I received anonymous reports of serious breaches of contract, and when I intervened as Gilda, I only spread the curiosity about who had informed me, in the schools, few have rebelled and in the end, even knowingly , that they have no obligation, the wishes of the leaders were almost all fulfilled with the approval of the elected RSU.
Maestra Razzano, how has the subject as a primary school teacher changed in recent years, according to your special observatory as a teacher and trade unionist together?
After 36 years of teaching, I experience that the world of teachers is a place of great generosity, commitment and great professionalism, acquired in the field or at universities. We masters are capable of change, and the primary thing has always been the testing ground for any reform; For better or worse, the changes have enabled us to deal creatively with the dictates that politicians have raised, and to look ahead, focusing on the important things, teaching first. As a teacher in a large comprehensive school, I believe that the main problem in the primary school is the number of students per. class and the large number of students with disabilities. There are classes with 25 children with significant percentages of students with special educational needs, including many who do not speak Italian. One thing is to follow a heterogeneous group of 15 children, another is to work with 25 students, very different from each other, in a cramped classroom and every year bet that everyone comes to June to learn the best out of their ability . We do not fail, we do not give debt, we give opportunities, that is the part of the job I love. As a trade unionist, I tell you that all teachers are well aware that they are poorly paid, that they work several hours more, and that they take a bit for extra tasks, it is a job that involves so much that it is often without putting your hand on the contract, you feel “stupid” to paint a door to make it more beautiful, but you do it very often for the satisfaction of giving something beautiful to children. What creates the most dissatisfaction is the school leadership and a leadership style based on an almost medieval system or protection of gang takeovers; I’m not saying them all, but many school leaders have no idea how important relationships are in our work environment. There are those who have a bell on the door of the presidency, those who give you permission for the holidays the day before, those who wash their heads as if they were the old boy in a tavern, and even those who have to think about twice about giving you a day if you are unsure and going to your brother – in – law’s funeral.
Finally, I experience that the relationship with families has changed, today mothers all feel professional education and always have something to say, especially about WhatsApp chat.
You represent a trade union that since the late eighties with its founder, Prof. Sandro Gigliotti, has always identified the figure of the teacher as an education professional. Do you still find this perspective relevant? Today, Italian teachers perceive themselves as professionals, and are they perceived as such?
If I did not have this perspective quite clearly, I would not belong to the Guild, the professional association, thanks to which the teachers back in 1988 obtained the best contract ever for the School! A professional at school knows how to teach, this is what most of us do, in the best way, after tests, competitions, simulations, research and individual study. It is also true that our profession cannot be carried out by anyone, as sometimes happens with MAD, a poor copy of what would have happened in schools with the direct call averted in extremism. Focusing on professionalism means asserting dormant constitutional freedoms and being professional, not employees or just executors.
There is a certain passivity among the teachers, submissive to DS’s decisions and will in the schools, they are also reluctant if not hostile to fighting and trade union mobilization and see the strike as a worn and ineffective tool.
I am a 60-year-old and do not know how many times I have carried flags during demonstrations, but I understand well my colleagues, the trade union struggle that mimics the struggle in factories, including MSW, is a loser in school, instead a elective principal who coordinates the teaching would be necessary and not be a vesir. The strike is the only union tool, and as we have seen recently, it does not work. I think the next matches could be inspired by passive resistance and lack of cooperation, it would be enough to avoid performing all the activities that we are not paid for or that are paid per. hour, which results in poor fixed compensation; all of a sudden no tours, no projects, no parties with Alpini, no workshops or endings of the year, no coordinator, no instrumental figure. And to have even more success, we could vote, as allowed in the contract, ten-hour activity plans and some interclasses. The times of redemption are coming and no compulsory training will be able to stop the teachers’ indignation over an inattentive policy at school, it is a matter of time and before the election someone will understand that they must change direction.
In your opinion, what can be attributed to so much disagreement and indifference, so much distrust of change, which is more and more prevalent among teachers?
The teachers are very committed and do not care, they certainly have distrust of change, because at school, every time you change, you find yourself doing something more and for free. It must also be said that apart from us, the other unions in the sector also have school leaders among their members, do you think FIOM would have been so strong, followed and decisive if Agnelli had been a member or leader?
Mrs Razzano, the reforms in the school have always had in common that they have been dropped from above and reviewed by the teachers, who then adapted to them. If you stay within your area of education, that is, the primary school, what would change or abolish the current legal system?
First of all, I wanted to wipe out the evaluation system that was invented last year, unmanageable for most and really useless, they started from evaluation to get teachers to change their teaching method. Everything happened mainly on paper and in ministerial webinars.
I wanted to make the primary school reform with a few articles in which the national guidelines were maintained.
1 from 1 September 2022, the classes are halved
2 from 1 September 2022, the evaluation in the primary school will have the following indicators: goals achieved and goals not reached.
3 from September 1, 2022, all teachers will have the same 18-hour schedule
4 from September 1, 2022 in each class there will be a full-time support teacher
5 from 1 September 2022, a linguistic mediator will be employed in each complex
6 from 1 September 2022, the dean coordinator is elected for the teaching of the teaching staff. The school principal who wishes to apply will only be able to do so after passing a cross-check with questions he did not know before. Finally, he will simulate a session of chairing a faculty board in front of a commission consisting of teachers, extracting a situation from the hat between a contrastive teacher’s intervention, unanimous vote against, protests for the task to classes and much more.
7 from 1 September 2022, the school head must support a two-year refresher course at the State School of Public Administration at his own expense, while at the same time handling the non-didactic functions that the school requires. Eventually he will be able to go back to his office and shut himself down to work on everything he has learned but not on teaching.
Here are all the texts in preparation for the school’s extraordinary 2022 competition
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