Who am I?
My name is Tomas Cipriani and I am a teacher of philosophy and history with many years of experience in high schools in Lombardy. Over the years, in addition to being a teacher and coordinator, I have been the school’s e-learning liaison and post-graduation orientation liaison. I am also a certified teacher of Italian as a second language with more than 10 years of experience, having published various materials and carried out many projects. For several years I have collaborated with the Motta-Rizzoli encyclopedia to update the yearbook. I deal with innovative and inclusive teaching and collaborate as educational consultant and content creator with some publishers in the sector, such as Palumbo editore.
Let me tell you my story
I was born in Rome and attended the Tito Lucrezio Caro State High School and later the Sapienza University, where I obtained first a degree in Philosophy with a thesis on the Philosophy of History, in which I studied the figure of Antigone in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, and then a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Theoretical-Critical Studies with a thesis on Moral Philosophy, in which I analyzed some aspects of Neuroethics, focusing mainly on the texts of J. Panksepp.
Since the beginning of my studies, I have combined work and study: I have always taken care of my education, expanding my knowledge and improving my skills, but at the same time I have tried to develop my professionalism and gain experience.
As part of the Erasmus project, I was able to live and study for a year in Cologne, in Germany, a country to which I then returned and where I lived for a total of almost five years, mainly in Berlin. After that, I went to Portugal for 6 months, where I taught Italian online. The experiences abroad, in Germany, France and Portugal, in addition to the language skills, gave me the opportunity to improve my relationship with other cultures and make my communication more attentive and effective, along with the development of different learning and teaching methods.
The experience in the company
In Germany, I combined teaching Italian with working in a company, which became my main job for a few years. In the company, I took on the role of store manager of the luxury stationery store Fabriano at Berlin Tegel Airport. In this role, I had the privilege of selecting, training and managing the sales team. I also had the opportunity to develop my skills in marketing and visual merchandising. Because of the store’s unique location, I had to work closely with airport management, stay abreast of safety issues and maintain excellent standards. Under my leadership, the store achieved excellent metrics, set a sales record since opening, and was among the best airport stores (in terms of appearance, order, and service), according to the airport’s own mystery shopper test. To achieve these results, I had to work closely with the central warehouse, compile the assortment, interact with external suppliers, IT, manage accounting and send regular reports to the German branch and the company’s Italian headquarters.
The only reason I decided to leave the company was my desire to return to teaching. However, my time with the company allowed me to develop valuable skills, such as the ability to manage stress, set and work toward achievable goals, learn to communicate and motivate effectively, and use formal power.
Teaching and training are the areas in which I have worked the most. In my professional career I have worked with young people with social difficulties, with physical disabilities and with foreigners of different nationalities. I have learned to put students at the center of teaching, to be flexible and to question myself, always looking for effective methods to guide students to their goals, to recover those with greater difficulties and to improve their performance.
Teaching Italian as a second language
During college, I did voluntary community service with the Sisters of Charity of the Assumption and the Maria Capozzi Institute in Rome, where I helped children with extracurricular activities and taught Italian to foreigners. I then taught Italian as a foreign language for many years, both in person and online, and earned the DITALS certification at the University for Foreigners in Siena. This passion led me to create Parliamoitaliano.org, a website that has had several hundred thousand visits over the years and has been recommended by schools and universities around the world.
Teaching a deaf boy
One of the most important professional experiences I had was working as a private assistant for a deaf boy. These three years of working together were a journey of personal and professional growth without equal. Thanks to this experience, I gained a comprehensive knowledge of special education needs, legislation of the sector, and different communication strategies. However, what impressed me the most was the human relationship that was built with the boy. This experience allowed me to look at the teaching profession from a broader perspective and it definitely helped me understand what kind of teacher I want to be.
Teaching philosophy and history
I have been teaching philosophy and history for years in high schools in Lombardy, and when I can, I try to organise some meetings to talk and discuss about various topics.
I have been constantly training myself to strengthen my skills both in the digital and in the methodological field. By using different applications, I have learned how to vary lessons and improve their effectiveness, with special attention to specific learning disabilities. My passion for education has led me to experiment with new teaching methods, develop engaging activities, and share my experiences with colleagues.
My work philosophy has always been to inform, train, experiment, and constantly adapt to context and goals. In addition, through my experience in various roles within the school, I have learned to manage the amount of bureaucratic tasks such as writing minutes, school projects, interview reports, and year-end documents.
Languages and Computer Science
When I decided to study philosophy at university, my teachers strongly recommended that I also study foreign languages and computer science to have better opportunities in the working world, and I took their advice without hesitation. To this day I can say that I have a good command of English, German, Spanish and French, while I try my hand at Portuguese, I can read Corsu and, with some difficulty, Catalan. When I travel, I always try to immerse myself in the local culture, and I enjoy learning the expressions and idioms of the locals. In addition, I also started a Japanese course, which I unfortunately interrupted due to other commitments.
As for the world of IT, I have been creating websites and exploring new software and applications since high school. I continue to follow the latest news and technological developments with great interest, even if I do not always manage to keep up with everything that’s new. However, it has never been a need of mine to chase the latest trends, while I am always curious to discover new techniques and methods.
Hobbies and interests
My passions are books and writing, I am a tireless lover of poetry and novels. And when I can, I do not hesitate to write. I prefer to write by hand and choose my writing instruments well. I also took a calligraphy class, though you would not believe it.
Then there are the board games, especially the cooperative ones. With friends, I like to investigate complicated cases like Sherlock Holmes and take on increasingly difficult and fun challenges. I like to imagine that in another life I could have been a detective. Or a serial criminal.
But I am not satisfied with that: I love to travel, discover new places, and put myself to the test. Sometimes I go for walks for hours, breathing fresh air and feeling the world around me. I have always believed that adventure is just around the corner, you just have to set out.