2 February 2024

Image taken from the documentary


They say 92% love their job, and 73% of them say they are happy to exercise it: they are the teachers, according to the UNSA Education 2023 barometer, made public on May 27. But this enthusiasm must be put into perspective: 34% no longer find meaning in their job (up 5% over one year), 71% lack recognition (compared to 52% in 2016), and 90% believe that their working conditions have deteriorated over the past year.

Also, fleshing out these statistics is interesting. The director, Julie Chauvin, does it, but partially, since she only gives the floor to teachers from schools in distress: Lucie, Emilie and Anthony, who have resigned – even if it means, for the latter, to teach in the private sector. ; Laurence who is retiring, “relieved” ; and Manon who is holding on, but doesn’t know until when.

The film is also dedicated ” in memory of Christine Renon »school principal in Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis), who committed suicide in September 2019, after sending a letter questioning national education and its working conditions, detailing “his exhaustion”, the loneliness of the directors, the incessant and contradictory reforms. We find the same grievances in the words of the teachers this evening.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers School principals: one year after the suicide of Christine Renon, a profession on the wire

Manon started at 23, in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), convinced that she had to save these children. Emilie has been a school teacher for twenty-two years, and headmistress for eighteen in Calvados. An exhausting double hat.

Feeling of abandonment

Anthony was a school teacher for nine years, during which he had to manage the lessons, food and sleep of his students. Laurence has ” like (her) job right away », far from imagining that, thirty-nine years later, she would be relieved to retire. Lucie taught for fifteen years in Creuse. Like her colleagues, she talks about the over-investment, the time she no longer has for her family. Everyone has experienced an event that was “the drop of water in excess”.

Whether it’s an accident, an attack, death threats, or burn-outs coupled with illnesses (attributed to overwork), all denounce the feeling of abandonment, the non-response of the administration, the lack of support . Like Christine Renon in her letter. And the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t helped. All have tears in their eyes or are crying. Especially when they dare to address the taboos of students who suffer abuse or sexual violence, or that of the multiplication of “dysfunctioning profiles”.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Suicide of Christine Renon, crisis due to Covid-19… school principals tell of their “dark year”

Powerful testimonies that did not need the artifices of a heavy staging. To punctuate the teachers’ stories, filmed alone, at home, at their desks or in their empty classrooms, interludes show classrooms without students or teachers, in theory to symbolize the abandonment of the administration, in practice at the risk to discourage viewers, which would be a shame.

School is overdocumentary by Julie Chauvin (Fr., 2022, 50 min).

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