The school is, immediately after the family, the main agency of socialization and formation of the personality of the child and of the preadolescent. Its fundamental task is to provide the necessary tools to grow culturally, psychologically and socially, to acquire a certain degree of responsibility and autonomy and, finally, to train for citizenship and democratic life.
The school is first of all study, knowledge, culture, learning of knowledge, but it is also education, theater of civil growth and citizenship; it is a place in which affections and feelings are born and grow, and the first friendships are established, which, in many cases, will remain for a lifetime.I believe that in order for this to be pursued, it is necessary that the scholastic path is not hindered by negative experiences that can counter the primary task of the school, preventing it from drawing on what it is able to give to its users. From the outset, ultimately, the school is faced with the problem of defining itself as an educational environment, and it is a matter of deciding whether it is sufficient to interpret the teaching function in relation to the more or less renewed programs to be carried out or in relation to the needs of the pupils, which in large part are not immediately scholastic but existential needs.
The pupil builds his identity also in the interaction with significant adult figures outside the family, so the school settings are among the most important to consider in this process. As it is underlined by many parties, in fact, the quality of the relationship with teachers is an aspect of particular importance in the process of individuation, for how it contributes to forming the student’s self-image.
In other words, teachers ‘attitudes (expressed by communicative-relational exchanges) affect students’ self-esteem, in a phase in which autonomy from adults is an unfinished conquest, often questioned or confirmed by gratifications and / / or frustrations that every student encounters in his cognitive and relational learning pathways.
A characteristic of the school is to provide contexts of relationships simultaneously with adults and peers, and therefore opportunities to experiment in different directions, but within a frame different from the family, and more complex than that provided by the informal socialization contexts, their cognitive potentials , relational and emotional.
The experimentation of one’s own abilities and potential, naturally also takes place outside the school, and is necessary to face the developmental tasks of the evolutionary phase. The obstacles encountered in overcoming these tasks are often linked to school difficulties (cognitive, relational and emotional), and in any case they reflect on the effectiveness of the scholastic path, in many cases adolescents live in the school conflicts that do not live in other relational contexts , especially in the family, because they do not find adequate channels of expression.
It is therefore important that teachers do not ignore the importance of the quality of their relationship with students as a factor of well-being / malaise, and do not underestimate the function of affective gratification in the growth process (need for recognition). Furthermore, it is desirable that the teacher be able to ask himself not only as a facilitator and guide on the cognitive level, but also as a facilitator on the relational and affective level: as a positive identification figure (an adult who is esteemed and trusted) . Teachers can help to reduce and limit the feelings of guilt with which adolescents, more or less consciously, face the beginning of separation from parental figures, an inevitable and necessary process to grow, but which always involves a price to be paid on the emotional level .