2 February 2024

Book. His longest report in a school had lasted a day. So, to relate, with more acuity, she hopes, the profession of teacher, the journalist Anna Benjamin decided to dive headfirst into the national education system. She was recruited – after a thirty-minute interview – as a contract professor of history and geography. In a dense story, structured in short chapters, she tells us about six months of immersion, her doubts and insomnia after being “entering the lion’s cage alone”the four hours of preparation to give a one-hour lesson, the fear of being “to bordelize”especially with this class of twenty-one students, “felt 35”, the feeling of being “a patch on a flat tire”

Testimonials: Article reserved for our subscribers These teachers who remain, despite the “teacher malaise”: “Helping students to become adults, citizens, is the greatest victory”

Anna Benjamin uses the art of metaphor to preserve the anonymity of her interlocutors and describe on the one hand the ” ship “a rather favored college in Hauts-de-France where she stayed for a month, and on the other the “liner”, a college in the Ile-de-France region classified as REP+ (reinforced priority education network), where she provides a five-month replacement. It is in this establishment, where you must be at the same time “teacher, shrink, social worker and cop”that the most complex and striking situations develop.

Through this prism of everyday life where resourcefulness is the rule, she explores, with pragmatism, all educational issues: how to manage the heterogeneity of students? How to talk about secularism, freedom of expression or gender equality? What ambition for these children at a time when even the principal of the “liner” judge that he “must accept the feeling of powerlessness”, “Help the kids better” without power “do miracles” ?

Four hours of travel per day

The author creates, in parallel, a gallery of portraits of teachers, drawing the panorama of a profession under tension. There is “Charlie”, who accumulates overtime for ” make it out “ financially; “Fluette”, who lives 150 kilometers from the college and travels four hours a day, “the archaeologist”, who anxiously awaits his transfer to Brittany and receives the disappointment of the refusal each year. There is still the college social worker who moves heaven and earth and goes so far as to write to Brigitte Macron to obtain accommodation for a family in difficulty.

If the institution appears absent or disconnected, as during this express training of contract workers in video, national education seems to hold only thanks to the commitment – ​​sometimes thwarted – of these teachers who do not count their hours.

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