In a small school, how is it possible to develop positive communication between the actors involved (teacher-teacher, teacher-student, student-student, school-family)?
Communication is undoubtedly one of the most relevant aspects for the teachers group, in particular for the teaching team of a small school.
At the basis of a good communication, it is necessary to cultivate mutual respect, in the awareness that each subject collaborates with his or her attitudes and experiences to the good functioning of a unique reality like a small school. The work of each one is indispensable and completes the one of colleagues.
This assumption means that every teacher, aware of being an important element for the success of the common project, actively participates in the construction and consequent protection of a positive and proactive communication.
A small school respects the dynamics of a small community, in which it is often placed. The subjects involved are primarily teachers and students. Starting from this assumption it is important to remember how the alliance between these two groups is necessary for the good functioning of teaching activities within a generally small group of people.
Communication between teachers and students is the basis for the development of such an alliance, as a positive mediator of the relationship that is created every day in the classroom.
Sharing different points of view and opinions is really useful to strengthen mutual respect and highlight how much the school dynamics should be based on authentic and constructive relationships.
Listening to the students' voices, in the daily teaching effort, is not always easy.
An instrument that can be put in place is undoubtedly the “democratic circle”. During this practice
all the subjects of the micro-community can participate. The position of the circle is fundamental because all the elements are equally distant from a defined point as the centre. Starting from this assumption no one dominates the other, any hierarchy is annulled. Each participant can see the other in the eyes, dialoguing directly, without the intrusion of intermediaries.
The circle or assembly is first of all a practice. First of all, it must be exercised.
It is useful to start, especially at the beginning, from themes proposed by children so that they feel involved and understand that they can be the main actors of this moment. Generally they will bring to the participants' attention quarrels, problems or even proposals. The teacher will be able to indicate the guidelines for conducting the discussion, reminding the children to speak one at a time and to do everything possible to keep listening to the other.
I can also be used to share decisions. It should be pointed out that using the circle does not mean delegating to boys and girls the responsibility of managing the multiple class, but involving them, listening to them.
Parents, and in general, the family, are the main allies to accompany, with mutual respect for roles, the growth of the students who attend our schools.
This relationship is often complicated, due to different points of view, the result of different experiences and beliefs.
Developing good communication involves daily commitment, necessary to gain the trust of the families. The school, as a fundamental educational agency, has a duty to open up to the outside world, making itself the advocate of a dialogue that becomes more effective and constructive. Sometimes it is necessary for teachers to take a step backwards, to listen unconditionally to the needs expressed by parents, and then rebuild from the foundations a dialogue that recognizes the authority of the school role.
It is therefore necessary to open and maintain a clear and defined distinction of roles with families, even if it involves a great commitment.