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Teachers Experiences

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TITLE OF THE EXPERIENCE
The sad Story of Angela
NAME AND SURNAME OF THE TEACHER
Patrizia Simonetti
SUBJECTS TAUGHT
Assistant teacher for disabled students
YEARS OF TEACHING EXPERIENCE
23
TYPE OF SCHOOL
IPSIA “G.Fascetti” (a vocational school)
COUNTRY
Italy
THEMATIC AREA
School bullying
DESCRIPTION OF THE EXPERIENCE
Angela is a very pretty girl with long fair hair , blue eyes and a well-proportioned body. She looks like “Barbie” but she is very shy and speaks very little. She always sits at the first desk and she looks at her tips of shoes to avoid her classmates’ eyes. When she arrived at IPSIA “Fascetti” (a vocational Institute in Pisa) last year , she was 14 and her class was made up of 24 students: 14 girls and 10 boys (one of them is a disabled student). At the beginning everybody ignored her, nobody talked to her or tried to make themselves known. Algela’s shyness kept her away from her classmates and her teachers tried to help her to integrate, but she preferred to remain alone because she felt menaced by Ilaria.
Ilaria is a very tall and strong girl. She is 15 because she failed a school year , she is smart and her eyes have got an everlasting expression of challenge. During a debate, she is the first to speak to uphold her point of view with all her might and the classmates have a high regard for her. Ilaria can’t stand Angela’s shyness and she begins to wink from end to end of the classroom or she pretends to throw something into the bin to bump against Angela’s desk or from worse to worse she opens the window because she says: “There is a sweat smell” looking at the poor girl . The other students laugh and wink each other, while Angela doesn’t react to provocations and withdraws into herself more and more.
Only the Italian teacher and the assistant teacher for disabled students notice Angela’s uneasiness and try to speak with her, but Angela is afraid of confiding them her problems . Meanwhile, Ilaria decides to give Angela a “good lesson” and she already has got a plan to liven up the poor girl. When the girls are all in the changing room before the gym lesson, Ilaria, with the aid of other two girls, decides to take a video to Angela while she is undressing and then they show it to their classmates.
Poor Angela bursts into tears for shame and humiliation. She runs and looks for the Italian teacher to tell her all about it. When the teacher demands students an explanation, in the presence of the assistant teacher, they deny the truth and Ilaria, with a bullying manner, vulgarly says: “They are all enormous balls!! Here nobody hates her, the truth is that Angela always stands aside because she gives herself airs”. Some students agree, others remain indifferent and Angela repents of having spoken and she decides that in the future she will never speak with anybody again.
Both the Italian and assistant teachers speak about this problem with their colleagues and with the headmaster, but there aren’t any proofs and the school year is going to finish and it’s too late to make a plan with a psychologist. They decide to face the problem the following year. But then, summer arrives and at the beginning of the new school year there are a lot of new teachers and unfortunately there aren’t either her Italian teacher or the three colleagues who were sensitive to Angela’s sufferings. Also the assistant teacher has to leave Angela’s class to follow her disabled student who has chosen an easier course in another class. However, the assistant teacher tries to explain Angela’s bullying problems to the new teachers and she underlines the need to plan an effective intervention as soon as possible, but they are sceptical and so no plan is carried out at once. Angela is bullied again and in October her parents decide to move her in another school.
This painful experience shows some lacks in the Italian School System: fist of all the lack of teaching continuity which doesn’t allow to plan effective interventions against bullying for a long time, then the insufficient financial resources of the Italian School don’t allow to take advantage of a psychologist at school who can help and support students and teachers in order to solve the different and serious manifestations of young uneasiness such as: bullying, drug addiction and alcoholism.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.06.03

Posted by FELLI GIANNA..GIANNAFELLI@YAHOO.IT (VOCATIONAL INSTITUTE…ITALY)

Message: The story is not interesting as such, as there are many similar stories in our schools of every kind and level, but it is good in highlighting our schools' weaknesses.
School uncertainty causes school discontinuity, which, together with bureaucratic delays, can become truly dangerous.
Just imagine Angela in a new school with the usual problems, and the picture which comes out will be really awesome.
But here's too there's the good news: in spite of all the problems, in our schools there are still plenty of teachers able to listen to silence, too.

Date: 2014.05.30

Posted by Gabriela Adomnica (Romania)

Message: Well, it would have been a better idea to help Angela find friends among her classmates and /or confront the bullies rather than let her leave the school and live with the idea that this is the way to deal with being different, but not different enough to deserve support. Of course there are too few school psychologists, but it is also a pity that there was no teacher sensitive enough to help the poor girl 'weather the storm'.

Date: 2014.05.30

Posted by Carmen Gomez Acosta (Spain)

Message: Angela 's story is very sad, but unfortunately often a situation occurs repeatedly , even changing the context , occurs increasingly in social networks , calling themselves cyberbullying . It is very disappointing that there is an adequate response to Angela , but I think there 's good vece change school and will start a new life, and meet new classmates .

Also important is the training of teachers to such a phenomenon , it is becoming increasingly common .

We have a protocol to go when such situations happen , for example exite Promote Andalucía, and I leave the link if you are interested : http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/educacion/portal/com/bin/convivencia/contenidos/Materiales/PublicacionesdelaConsejeriadeEducacion/MATERIALESCONVIVENCIA/1195806345848_libro6_3.pdf

Another useful tool is the protocol of the Basque Country ,
http://www.ciberbullying.com/cyberbullying/2011/02/15/el-gobierno-vasco-presenta-el-primer-protocolo-de-espana-de-actuacion-escolar-contra-el-ciberbullying/

I hope this information will be useful .

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.