The disabling emotions and feelings of future special needs teachers: results of a survey on the emotional-relational factors involved in the perception of sensory disabilities

In addition to recognizing qualities based on knowledge, skills, competences related to strictly professional aspects and personality characteristics, over the years, attention has been paid to the emotional dimension of the teacher, as competence in self-management and self-regulation of their emotions. Among the variables indicated by the scientific literature as particularly affecting teachers 'emotions we also find students' disabilities. Starting from the elaboration and argumentation of a review of national and international studies, the paper presents the results of an exploratory research aimed at investigating, in a large group of future special needs teachers (n=540), the contribution of emotions in the conceptualization and representation of disability. The focus of the research, in view of the scarcity of scientific evidence, is placed specifically on sensory disabilities and what they evoke, starting from the collective imagination. The results that emerged contribute to highlight, on a broader spectrum, the significance of transversal socio-relational and communicative skills in the training of the support teacher, skills such as the empathic ability to relate significantly to the other, without however being engulfed by emotions disabling dictated by preconceived visions and fears regarding sensory impairments.