Reflections: parents and school working together - GSO

Reflections: parents and school working together

The last two episodes narrated lead us to considerations of a general nature that I would like to briefly discuss here.

First of all I like considering the school as a place to learn the rules of civil coexistence, the sense of respect for legal norms, for laws.

Secondly, I think it is very important to teach the agreement on which our Republican Constitution is founded, starting from the bodies responsible for the construction, execution and control of the laws.

Thirdly, I believe it is essential to give kids a sense of civic responsibility through cultural initiatives carried out during classes and open to the external society and to Republican and European institutions. Furthermore, it seems essential to me to create a civic conscience and to make students appreciate freedom within a deep sense of responsibility, using episodes of violation of school regulations as opportunities for civic practice.

Finally, I consider it essential to create those opportunities for meeting between families, schools and students that can generate a closer collaboration based on trust and not merely on the provision of a service.

Several times I came across families who demanded because they paid.

I have repeatedly heard that the school is a company and must be organised in such a way to guarantee a quality service before a good interpersonal relationship.

Several times I met guys defended to the bitter end by parents who denied their children’s crimes even in the face of evidence.

I have repeatedly observed desperate attempts by parents to solve their children’s problems with the right intention, but in the wrong way.

I am also aware that the stories presented up to now are fallen trees of a forest that keeps growing silently. Arguably, the solution is to be looked for in the attention towards a fundamental aspect of the living together of school and family: the interpersonal relationship.

Let’s try to imagine the school within a system of human relations and not as an organisational structure. We will therefore discover that the assumption of a good relationship is trust. Without trust, the family-school alliance cannot be built, which is an indispensable premise for the good realisation of every co-educational process. The school comes second in educational responsibility: family comes always first.

Because of this, the teachers-parents collaboration should be developed on tracks of complementary responsibility to reach a fundamental outcome: the harmonious growth of the good citizen of the world!

The educational alliance is a bridge between the two sides of the family and the school. When only one of these banks is missing, the bridge disappears.

Thus, it becomes necessary to look for other banks to carry out the construction. Sometimes a ‘creative’ student is enough to jeopardise the relationship and therefore the bridge. If in the cases mentioned before we had reached the conclusion that the pupils were a problem and that the families should have independently dealt with it, it is likely that the interruption of the educational relationship would have arrived prematurely.

Conversely, in a good for the student logic, everyone could have taken on his/her responsibilities.

The school, which aims at educating the good citizen and building the educational dialogue starting from trust, will find solutions to problems with the family, and this will not only make the educational process efficient but also effective.

But what does all this mean for the politics that must make decisions about the future of the younger generations?

From my point of view it basically means the following:

  • to promote the introduction of professional educators in the schools, well present in our degree programmes, but little used in daily practice because of the tight financial circumstances in schools. With these professional figures the educational processes linked to civicism could take great advantage in terms of social sensitivity, attention to the environment, development of a conscience on the issues of sustainability, peace and responsibility for crimes. The disobedient student would not be punished, but supported by an educator working with him, to evaluate how to produce the reflection about the ‘offense’ committed. People dedicated to this would give great relief to families, teachers and students themselves.
  • to accompany the educational growth of the student thanks to the professionalism of the teachers who are able to support the educational-relational process. Therefore, with the aptitude for the relationship refined through specific training courses, the pupil could live the educational dialogue with serenity, positivity and joy. All this could happen through the figures of tutors who support the students in their growth and in their learning path, which are selected among the teachers themselves; even better if each teacher was asked to become a tutor in his/her own school.
  • finally, the practice of civicism, rather than its theory, would favour more varied service initiatives, such as the organisation of service activities for children with tutoring, the provision of services for the weakest in facilities close to the residence of the student or school, or, still, stable and non-episodic collaboration with associations established to train the conscience of young people on important issues such as: organ donation, the fight against the mafia, the respect for the environment.

In Anglo-Saxon schools that work on the profile of the student, this type of activity is left free as far as organisation is concerned, but mandatory in the presentation of the school curriculum, through the request of the school to the student to achieve a certain number of annual service hours (Service), as part of the CAS(Creativity, Action and Service).

These activities consist of a certain number of lessons, both scholastic and extra-scholastic, which are made mandatory to enhance the creative, manual-sportive and service side of the student aimed at building the profile of the student.

It would be nice to imagine that no student should be punished, but only helped to create a civic consciousness within himself/herself, even in the face of the most serious cases and despite the outcome. As in the next story about Massimo.

Giordano Casonato

Head of GSO School

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