Lifelong Learning Programme

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Teachers Experiences

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Given an advantage
Stella Tziggoura
Secondary School
Identification of students’ at risk
The last 5 years I have been assigned a school in the centre of town. The school always had a very good reputation and it attracts children coming from above the average economical basis of our town. Actually, this was one of the reasons that I asked for my assignment there, after spending almost 10 years in less privileged regions.

I used to inform new teachers in the differences that our school has from other regions. Children finish their kindergarten in private schools and then they move to the closest primary school. Students in public schools are distributed based on the address of their homes, in order to reduce the physical distance from homes to school.

Private kindergarten are doing an excellent work in order to improve their fame in the local community. So there you can find children knowing how to spell their names, count or even read small phrases. Almost every parent sends their boys and girls to private kindergarten so that they get a basis for their education.

But economical crisis has changed a lot of things nowadays. Not everybody could afford to do the same thing nowadays. And this was the case for the family of a young boy, called Nickolas. He was a normal kid, a clever one that got a perfect preparation from his family for primary school and that was all.

A young teacher has been assigned the first class. It was his first time in the 1st grade. I had discussed with him what was the case for our region and for the children in our school. At the end of the first month the teacher informed me for the change in attitude of this small boy, Nicolas. Based on his point of view, it was obvious that he did not want to follow the rest of the class. He mentioned to me that he had contacted his mother, since he was also absent some days of the week.
His idea was to give him some extra work, that no other kid would have and tried to give him an advantage compared to the other students.
After a month, Nicolas seemed not to have problems. He was really playing with the rest of the classroom and he was improving himself. At the end of semester his grades were really excellent.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.08.18

Posted by Murat Demirbaş (Turkey)

Message: I also have the same thoughts with the people with the same profession here, in that financial resources have a great importance, even though what we mention is a school in which students from public study and that ought to have the responsibility of organising sources in order that all of the children will have the same opportunities in terms of studying. In Turkey we have some sorts of programmes and organisations which have the responsibility to supply sources and maintenance to people who have fewer sources by conducting various methods as is mentioned in this story because having economical problems is the main reason for giving up studying. Another significant reason is detachment or not caring the significance of the education. From my point of view of mine, all of the schools have the responsibility to supply all of the students with the accessibility to education without looking at their financial or social status as my other collegues mentioned. Every person, at least, every person has the right to study, to be educated. More people should be educated because education is one of the best solutions for the problem of poverty. I also believe that it cannot be possible if all of institutions or the organisations which have a word on education does not cooperate. So, that story can be seen as an evidence-based practice for some other corresponding stories. That the tutors and the parents of the students or the students themselves have a cooperation illustrates a great success. In this case, teachers have a cooperation which is necessary in order to achieve the goal of success. In other words, a close cooperation among school- parents and public community can be accounted as another significant privilege.

Date: 2014.05.30

Posted by Rosario Ángela Martín Almaraz (Spain)

Message: I agree to the comments of my colleagues, because it's very important economic resources in education, although this is a public school, which should play the role of regulating resources so that all children can study under the same conditions.
In Spain there are many programs and foundations that are responsible for providing resources and support to families with fewer resources, carrying out different strategies such as this success story. Therefore, this story can serve as an evidence-based practice for possible similar stories.
The union between the professional and the family, or with students is always a sign of success, in this particular case cooperation among teachers is essential to success.

I leave here a link where you can find thousands of Spanish foundations that are dedicated to helping people with fewer economic resources:

Date: 2014.05.27

Posted by Oana Acsinie (Romania)

Message: Unfortunately, the lack of financial means is a major cause for abandoning school. Another important cause is indifference, or the unawarness of how important education is. The school's mission is to ensure acces to education for all the students, no matter their social status. There are special programs so that students with poor financial possibilities could continue studying. Everyone deserves a chance, everyone has the right to education, and this is possible only if all the decisional factors unite their forces. Another important advantaje would be a close relationship between school-student-parents-local community.

Date: 2014.05.21

Posted by Christine CLOES (Belgium)

Message: Economic difficulties that many families have to face nowadays (but also in the past) are surely one of the main factors leading to school dropout but it is not a fatality. The mission of the school is to give equal opportunities to all pupils, isn’t it? Education is one of the best solutions to overcome poverty and social exclusion.
By giving extra work to the pupil in difficulty, the teacher managed to give him an advantage compared to the other students. In this specific situation the strategy worked successfully for various reasons (clever pupil, good preparation during primary school, willingness of the teachers…). So the strategy could be transferable in other situations taking into account all parameters of this “success story”.
Another component of this success is the cooperation between experienced and newly arrived teachers. This is a very good practice to early identify pupils at risk and to find the best solutions.

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.