The World of Teenagers

In 1986 I got a permanent post in the state secondary school and it is from there that my professional ad-venture in a new world started. It marked the beginning of a double-route journey: on the one side there were the novel stimula received during my initial in-service training, on the other it coincided with the discovery of a new world: the one of teenagers.

I remember the first time I entered a classroom to deliver my literature lesson (it was in a 4th form): it was almost a shock! I can still remember it. All my expectations like the idea of a more motivating syllabus design and organization - well, to tell the truth, everything seemed to be crashing on that single moment.
The students did not turn out as brilliant as I expected and, what's more their language proficiency was not at all adequate to introduce the study of literary texts. It felt everything had to be reshaped and - more than anywherelse y in my mind!

All that I had been working for up to that moment (hard personal training together with courses to improve and innovate the more traditional chronological approach to literature seemed to vanish. As a consequence, there was nothing I could do but reinforce and improve linguistic competence to later approach literariness through active work on texts .

On a second moment, I also found out that a few collegues were interested in innovative venus of teaching. Together we were able to organize successful paths that gradually succeeded in supporting students in the discovery of a new direction in the study of language and literature wher the latter was able to support proficiency in the former and viceversa.

Right from the beginning of my job experience was I able to find out that it is always stimulating to work with collegues who rather than feeling safe in the cultivation of what is familiar, appreciate putting oneself into doubt and critically revisting what already experimented in order to dis-cover new directions and bringing to the front different forms oflearning that bring the whole individual into activity, her/his emotions included.

Studying literature through a theme-based approach could bring in a higher degree ofmotivation and foster more active participation and human involvement. Literature is generally a good carrier of emotions and personal reflection activities that, when focussed on topics suitable to the age, prove really helpful to cognition and personal development.

All the same, in later times of experience the adoptionan intertextual approach to reading encouraged students - and my self not less - to make more sense of the ways in which texts and culture ar mutually interacting and in the field of communication.

Concluding the present section I must say that right from the start of my experience I was often compelled to come to terms with the gap between the of world of pedagogical research and the concrete situation within which teachers are called to work in everyday environments.

Of course, the previous observations are not meant to confine the stimula from theory in a corner but rather to alert teachers' attention to the constant need of reshaping they are called to in the case they really want to carry out action-research and experimentation not necessarily doomed to self frustration.