The Teachers’ Manifesto has been developed within the Italian teachers’ network called “the school that works”, www.lascuolachefunziona.it
The teacher’s cultural and professional identity is at the core of the network’s most important project, 13 tenets that outline the teacher’s commitment to promoting his/her students’ personal, social and cognitive development and to turning school into a real opportunity for students to prepare for their future and social promotion.
A “manifesto” that also affects the role of the teacher: a passion for this profession, the responsibility for and commitment to his/her own steady improvement, the will to ground the teacher’s role in an authoritative rather than autocratic approach.
A Manifesto entailing a lengthy process for the network: three months’ worth of processing, more than one thousand contributions provided by about a hundred members, a powerful synthesis aimed at providing teachers with a school and professional model that fits our contemporary challenges, a demanding model to be pursued, several challenges to accept while discarding certainties of the past. Ensuring that neither the school nor the teacher dies a death.
In addition to taking a clear stand against the lack of respect for the school and its teachers shown by many social sectors, the manifesto represents the teacher’s personal commitment to the students for whom he/she is responsible, a sound rebellion by all those who believe in the school and who oppose blind adherence to standards and meaningless formalism.
The manifesto has a dedicated website where you can sign up (www.manifestoinsegnanti.it). It also includes reviews and interpretations of the text.
- I love teaching. I love learning. This is why I’m a teacher.
- I will teach to promote in every way a sense of wonder at the world, which is inborn in my students. I will teach in order to be overtaken by them. When I am no longer able to do that, I will release my position to one of them.
- I will teach by demonstration and example. The acknowledgment of my mistakes will enlighten my way.
- I will join my students in their discovery of the world around them, favouring and encouraging among each of them curiosity and inquisitiveness, questions and passion.
- Being unable to convey truth to my students, my endeavour will be to get them to live in its pursuit
- I will foster in my students the commitment and will power to constantly improve themselves and to never give up when faced with difficulties. I, too, will keep updating my training and knowledge.
- I will strive to make the school the world, and not a prison.
- I will not convey to my students fixed, pre-packaged ideas. I will be lead by my world view but it will never be a law for them. Questioning and constructive criticism will be the pillars of my educational action
- I will promote studying for life and oppose studying for grades.
- I will gather assessment factors, and refuse simplistic and mechanical approaches that do not take into account the starting point, progress, commitment and overall improvement of each student.
- I will fight for the school to be everybody’s school, a school where each student can learn according to his/her own pace and path. I will see that my students choose me rather than put up with me.
- I will help my students light up the future through reading about the past and fully living in the present. I will help them live in the world as it is, but not tolerate leaving it as it is.
- I will remain faithful to these tenets at all moments of my educational activity, ready to face and overcome all formal and bureaucratic obstacles in my path.