Teacher function and teacher salary. Letter

Posted by Giuseppe D’Angelo – The national collective labor agreement, concerning the staff of the school sector of 09/02/2018, in art. 26 specifies and defines the teaching function as follows: “1. The teaching function takes care of the teaching/learning process, which aims to promote the students’ human, cultural, civil and professional development on the basis of the goals and objectives set by the school systems defined for the different orders and levels of education.

2. The teaching function is based on the teachers’ cultural and professional autonomy; it is expressed in individual and collegial activities and in participation in refresher and continuing education activities.

3. When implementing the autonomy of the school, teachers develop, implement and verify in collegial activities through comparison processes that are considered most useful and suitable, for the pedagogical-didactic aspects the plan of the educational offer, adapt its articulation to the different needs of students and taking into account the socio-economic reference context, also to achieve common qualitative learning goals in each class and in the various disciplines. Families will be informed of the relative results in the manner decided by the teaching staff.”

The extraordinary nature of the “teaching profession” appears mainly from the first paragraph, in a few words: “… it carries out the teaching/learning process with the aim of promoting the human, cultural, civic and professional development of the students. …”

I exclaim: cabbage !! We will perform miracles!
How can I promote the students’ human, cultural, civil and professional development? In order to get closer to these goals, I must have the virtues that I can pass on! I must be a person of integrity, with solid ethics, capable of making significant educational sacrifices, and endowed with great patience and altruism. And then I have to be very professionally prepared!

I get asked a lot! But then who verifies that I possess such qualities? When the school needs staff and the internal ranks are exhausted, hire anyone who offers their willingness to teach! This procedure is followed everywhere in Italy and for everyone
disciplines. As an example, we consider the support teachers. In Italian schools, you can easily start teaching support, even as a precarious one, without having the qualifications required by law and obtainable through a long and expensive educational process that includes courses in
training, reports and exams.

In fact, one can be called by the so-called Crossed Rankings without having a specific title. So our most fragile children can be entrusted into the hands of decidedly “incompetent” teachers, not because they are incapable, but because they have not yet been educated! But these teachers, if they want to officially enter the role that they have already played for many years, cannot do so if they do not have the necessary documentation. But then don’t let them work from the start! Or complete free training courses in itiner so that you can exercise the specific function. It means little! After all, in the Italian school, no one was left out in the end. In the role of belonging, for one reason or another, they all arrived, perhaps just before retirement and after a life of peregrinating precarity! The continuous farcical series of contests for the professorship that we have witnessed over the years is known to all.

The possibility of passing the competition was not solely entrusted to the demonstrated merit, but it was almost a certainty for some “lucky ones”. Certain “liberal” procedures for the selection of teaching staff (definitely not to make a mess of all the grass, fortunately there are many trained teachers!) have in a way “enriched” the ranks of educational operators over time, I would say, in that least heterogeneous. Now we complain about the lack of education and professionalism of teachers, who unfortunately make a bundle of all the grass! But is it ever possible to really believe that one can “retrain” (to use an offensive term coined by Minister Bianchi) such a category of school training operators? Who has entered the school almost exclusively, remembered by the pragmatic conveniences of this professional activity (many free afternoons, vacations, long vacations, etc.; at least in the collective imagination!), More than by the purposes of the educational function mentioned above, what is the probability of him becoming a sufficiently trained and performing teacher according to the government’s wishes? Will it not be another flop of another school reform? I also ask myself another question.

Could the pedagogical and ethical heterogeneity of the teaching staff be reduced by a significant salary increase capable of repositioning the same at the level of the European standard? Of course, adjusting wages to European standards is a necessary and necessary action!

But that is not what I want to express. The problem of the teacher’s credibility and the recovery of his social status cannot really take place by following this path (as some believe). Those who are not professional in their work will not become professional if they are paid more! On the contrary
he further settles on the view that the salary increase is due to the recognition of the teaching profession and thus his professionalism. One more that was not recognized and now finally yes. The way forward to ensure that the teacher returns to being a point of reference is another. The Italian school at all levels suffers today more than ever from a profound ethical disorientation.

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, states: … higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. This sacred principle has often been forgotten, leading to obvious inconsistencies in the processes of recognition and evaluation of the aforementioned merit. The correct evaluation process carried out by the individual teacher e.g
of the school in which it operates, it guarantees the training process, protects it from extremely dangerous drives and restores the credibility of the teacher and the school as a whole. The reasons for the development of the evaluation process in the school represent the most important school problem that should be seriously discussed.

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