School teachers seem to suffer at a global level from a deep decline of their status, meaning both the deterioration of their job conditions and the reduction of their prestige in the social perception. These processes prove to be particularly strong in Italy, where a political revival of the literary tradition of school stories is generated as a reaction. Diaries, chronicles and pamphlets are the most common genres for many teachers who start to write school stories. The final result is a considerable annual amount of books telling the efforts and humiliations of a disregarded job. No doubt that the largeness of this phenomenon is sociologically significant in itself. However, can school stories become relevant tools for the sociologist’s analysis? Could the Italian literary tradition of school stories have played a role in generating stereotypes on school teachers? Starting with a preliminary account on the borders between "text" and "reality", this paper aims to answer to these questions through a precise selection of works, including both contemporary writers and classics such as De Amicis, with a particular focus on The Teacher from Vigevano by Lucio Mastronardi.
Keywords: School stories, teachers, status, stereotypes