The integration supermarket
A teacher worthy of a Nobel prize
When we tried to get in touch with her, at the institute where she started her journey, we came across a very kind lady who put us in touch with Daniela Boscolo. She had many kind words about Daniela, but above all she stressed how much they all missed her presence. People make the difference.
Daniela started her professional career as an English teacher. She soon realized that some of her pupils had learning difficulties and so she started searching, asking questions, and studying to understand how she could help them by offering an alternative approach, new methods compared to the “norm” to make learning easier for her students and ensure they could feel integral part of the class. She also took on the role of Learning Support Assistant (LSA). Later, she chose to continue in this role and today she is the head of the Istituto Veronese in Chioggia (VE).
Daniela sees the future unfolding before her eyes. As a teacher, she goes beyond the notion of transferring knowledge to her students, and she realizes that over the years spent together, her students learn to become adults. Daniela encounters diversity. Personalities are being formed. There are differences, personalities differ. But she also sees skills that are more or less apparent in her students that clash with convention.
Her school is a technical college where a combination of schooling and job placements paves the way into adulthood. Daniela noted that the path is not always open to all and decided not to stand by and watch. Her experience led her to observe and come up with solutions.
She noted that some people, classified as having a disability, missed the opportunity to enter the world of work because there was no pathway designed for them. There was nowhere for their world. There was no thought given to them.
An experiment was born, it later became a project, and today is a well-established reality.
An everyday place, designed with students in mind. All students. But it is managed and tailormade for those few students who have not been able to take advantage of other opportunities. She calls it the “integration supermarket”.
Daniela, who is today the head of the school, tells us of the first experience as a focal point which opened up a pathway, and lit the way forward. “I started a dialogue, an exchange … after the supermarket we started other activities …” and listening to her words one can feel the importance of building bridges between two worlds that are different but can learn from each other. “It is about training and nurturing skills, identifying talents. For everyone”.
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A group of individuals/an association/an institution that has been able to embrace others’ diversity, “adopting” and enhancing it so that it becomes a uniqueness for the community and a point of reference for others.