Three months after those fairy tales on the grass, his cell phone keeps ringing.Francesca Sivieri, 43 years old, kindergarten teacher, remained the same. Back from vacation: a week at the beach with her husband Francesco and children Pietro and Matteo: Seven days with the family and now ready to leave with the same energy. His passion for school is a burning passion. He calls it a vocation, he says that beyond his work he could do nothing else. that same passion to make her hope that we will return to school in presence. Francesca smiles when a text message from some parent reminds her of that image of May 25: she in jeans and a shirt sitting on the grass and placing a suitcase full of books on the ground, her little pupils from Prato who listen to her at legs crossed and at a distance. The first story and that meeting after the lockdown interrupted by the controversy of a trade unionist who accused her of having acted in defiance of every safety rule, making her colleagues pass for vagabonds. A mother writes to her after three months. She knew and was sorry, she like the parents of the others: the teacher Francesca leaves. Explain to Courier service: Before that episode, I had requested and obtained the transfer to the Bartolini Comprehensive Institute in Vaiano. Now my children are grown up, they no longer need their mother at the front door. I change school and leave, away from home. I need new incentives, this has been a year of budgets and I want to get back into the game.
After that gesture, immortalized by a photograph that went around the web, Francesca had become a symbol. In the Italy of the lockdown, of children without school, I felt useful for my students, who had the right to find a space for them, a place to meet again. I got my salary and could keep paying the bills from there the idea of inventing something to continue being there. Doing what I did made me feel good, even more to receive the solidarity of all of Italy. No criticism of colleagues: everyone is free to act as they see fit. Of course, knowing that many other teachers in Italy have followed my example made me happy…. From school, however, no applause. Three months after that day, not even a call from my manager: neither to be supported, nor to receive criticism. Not hearing anyone, after twelve years in this school, hurt me a little. And he adds, some old school colleagues understood my methods, others looked down on me. all a matter of vocation, of passion, not of warming the chair, he reiterates.
And so she will go, Francesca, but leave again with the same enthusiasm. In his house, in Prato, there is a folder full of letters and drawings: his children sent them to him after they found the teacher on TV. If I fear that in September the school will not return to the same one? Unavoidable. Not in my nature to be pessimistic, but I only hear indications about benches and structures. I think we need to dedicate time and energy to children now: how are they, how have they lived these months? How can we intervene on their socialization: the pandemic has accustomed them to distance, not to touch each other, and the little ones feel this. The important thing? We have to start over, it is unthinkable not to go back to class. Children need human contact after all this time at home. This is the real urgency.
What is missing most? The relationship with my class. In kindergarten you see the children grow up, in an instant you find them boys with beards and mustaches. Always keep something of them: a memory, a gesture, an episode. I miss school in my day. A passing year will open: not knowing what awaits me in the new school, it is also difficult to plan. Every so often, however, I get moved. Silence. I am moved when I meet the parents at the supermarket, in the park or at the bar, and they ask me to stay. But life made up of meetings and goodbye. I think I was lucky for this piece of road with my little ones. Seeing each other again will not be difficult. That image on the lawn, then, will remain our memory.
September 1, 2020 (change September 2, 2020 | 10:21)
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