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“Papillon: writing on a blog”: a brief history of a school project

This year I teach in a second class. In the morning I enter in the classroom and look at my students: some are always sulking, closed in a melancholy difficult to scratch, others are constantly in motion, volcanoes erupting with life, others still have the smile of youth that always illuminates their faces. My students are a field of sunflowers with which I try to cultivate horizons. It is never easy, because if they understand that they can be trusted, that you really care about how they are and how they will become, then they ask a lot, they demand that you see them even when they challenge you with the bored air of those who would like to be somewhere else. The hours we dedicate to the project “Papillon, writing on a blog” are our space of freedom: there are no “tasks” or evaluations, we start from a stimulus, an idea, an article, we lay a small seed in the earth and slowly everyone pours his water over it. There are those who are passionate, those who get angry (sometimes even me!), those who manage to pull out a half word or those who remain silent …. but after a while you see the sunflowers that open the corolla and begin to move.

Some of them write, do it together, in the library or in some empty classroom (happy to skip the explanation on the Latin subjunctive or on the absolute ablative!) and then return to the field with their treasure of words that they give to everyone, without fear. Then, suddenly, their gaze becomes proud, beautiful, because inside those words there are their questions, their protests, their hopes that have found a space for collective expression.

<<I didn’t think the article was so cool prof!>> I smile. I did, I thought so, because Maria Vittoria is a perfect helmsman, Sara is a high-speed train, Gianmarco is the submerged magma looking for a way to explode, Giulia is of a deep and disarming sweetness, Davide is the impetuous heart that beats and Melissa is the wizard of the PC with a perennial smile.

When I observe them, I sometimes wonder why the world of adults (and also that of school) often insists on proposing the rhetoric of a superficial and empty youth… all focused on the ephemeral world of social media and appearances …. little respectful, little “polite”, little commitment … (which then even if it were so maybe we should take responsibility … at least a little).

Maybe I’m just a simple and romantic provincial teacher, but when I enter in my class, in the classroom I see a beautiful field of sunflowers.

Sara Lazzaro


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