Abertura EDER CHIODETTO SER DIRETOR A journey around 30 brazilian public schools Santarém Belém Ananindeua Marabá Picos São Miguel do Tapuio Beneditinos Teresina Piracuruca Luziânia Goiânia Trindade Anicuns Mantenópolis Guarapari Domingos Martins Serra Natal Mossoró Caraúbas Caicó Baía Formosa Itapipoca Caucaia Fortaleza Itaiçaba

When we created the Programa Jovem de Futuro in 2008, we were working with the ongoing upgrading of school management, since we believe that this is a powerful tool for improving the learning results of High School students.

This was the perfect timing, therefore, for the launch of the Ser Diretor program. This project is our way of paying tribute to these professionals who perform such an essential role in guaranteeing the right to education. This is a leadership role that faces the daily challenges and difficulties that are present in our schools, without losing sight of the fact that procedures and resources need to be directed to the students' learning.

The application of good management conditions is to seek answers to vital questions. As a means of shedding light on the issue, we can systematically learn which practices work best in our reality, encourage them, and then disseminate them.



Ser Diretor - a journey around 30 brazilian public schools outlines the day-to-day experiences of school administrators. These are education professionals who are recognized for their commitment and dedication, just like many others throughout the country who, even in challenging environments, manage to establish ties with the school community and take decisions that have a positive impact on the students' learning. The individuals in this book represent the transformative power of school management.



It’s often said that the only reason Brazil hasn’t exploded yet is because of the schools. They’re a ray of hope. I see families that have nothing, but the parents want their children to come to school. The families believe that it will improve their children’s lives, and the young people see the place as somewhere that is safe.

Rosângela Nascimento

EEFM Maria Menezes de Serpa


I asked the students for their help and partnership, for them to help reduce the lack of discipline, because if this couldn’t be achieved, I would have had to transfer them to another school and I didn’t want that. The dialog was revolutionary! You need to have patience, but it’s worth it. I’m much happier seeing their improvement.

Ana Lúcia Vieira de Lima



I don’t see education as an expense; I see it as an investment. But generally, governments always treat it as an expense. To balance this problem out, the community helps a lot.

Josilene Werneck Machado Falk


Domingos Martins_Espírito Santo

You can’t provide education if there isn’t any love. You have to understand the student, the human being that she is. From there, things change. The transformation is impressive.

Ramon Sant’Ana Barcellos

EEEFM Vila Nova de Colares

Serra_Espírito Santo

People want a student sat down in the classroom with their head in a book, like this was such an easy thing these days. They’ve got the world in the palm of their hand with a cell phone! I’m proud to renew the concept of management with teachers and students who are more in tune with each other. It’s a more human and enjoyable model. Those who understand the concept of democratic management can administrate a school well.

Weberson de Oliveira Moraes

Colégio Estadual (STATE SCHOOL) Irmã Gabriela


A teacher has to have the ambition to change a reality. A true teacher has to overcome the obstacles and realize that his greatest currency is the ability to transform the student.

Rosana Mara de Paiva Marins Campos

Colégio Estadual Dona Torinha


I studied at a public school my whole life and I had wonderful teachers, who believed in the possibility of transforming others. They made me believe that this is possible.

Elizabete Aguiar

EEEFM Jaderlândia


We long for a society that is more equal, where a student can have a fairer and more equal education, because the current system doesn’t allow us to do this much. There is so much holding us back and we work in a system that is deeply set in its ways.

Antonio Luiz Silva Soares

EEEM O Pequeno Príncipe


This is a school of possibilities. The good thing has been the democratic management of the school, and the participation of the students and the community. What we have here is an open school project: the school teaches the students to take care of what is theirs.

Alberto Machado Vieira



For me, it’s important to get to know the student’s family. These days we live in a deconstructed society. We need to know the family to understand a student’s behavior. Sometimes, a student responds this way because he is aggressive, because he needs more attention. Sometimes he needs a hug, a frank, face-to-face conversation, somebody to share things with.

Geferson Francisco de Souza

CEE Marcos Parente


I was born in 1965 and I was taught by teachers from the 1950s. I pass on to my students today what I learned in the 1980s and so it goes. Future students will have classes with teachers trained in these times of new technologies, but when they get there, the world will already be different. If there isn’t an urgent, ongoing teacher training program, the students won’t have any motivation to come to school.

Reginaldo Santos Xavier

EE Professora Calpúrnia Caldas de Amorim

Caicó_Rio Grande do Norte

At a “living school” there are cultural events, competitions and other approaches to learning. The relations between students and teachers are strengthened. This leads the students to enjoying school more and wanting to stay there. It creates a sense of belonging. Mobilizing people is hard work, but it’s worth it.

Edna de Araújo Cunha

EE (public school) Instituto Padre Miguelinho

Natal _Rio Grande do Norte

30 public schools
6 states
27 towns
37 days on the road
3,686 photographs
25 hours of interviews

The memory of the child or adolescent who liked to look directly into the light when they sat at their school desk was most intense when I visited the first school in this project, in Belém do Pará, and I saw the morning sunbeams streaming across the classrooms.

The photographer, now an adult, made an analogy with Plato's Allegory of the Cave. The classroom was therefore the cave where the students meet to find the strength to free themselves from the chains that imprison them, meaning they had to look only at the wall - a metaphor for common sense for the philosopher. Once freed, they can finally stop seeing the world as an illusion of shadows and look at the light, then go on to experience the outside world with an independent and critical eye. The light is knowledge.


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