In the current sociopolitical, economic and cultural climate, Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future is a particularly accurate heading coined by UNESCO to celebrate World Teacher’s Day. This is a much needed day to reflect upon the endurance of the learning process, how it shapes our multiple identities, and more specifically the role of teachers:
My memories growing up are happy ones, filled with laughter. I remember walking to school on my own while trying to learn how to whistle, maybe during 10 or 15 minutes, as I would feel the most independent child among my friends at school and beyond. Our primary school was named after Federico García Lorca, a Spanish poet belonging to the fruitful 1927 artistic wave among which we can count Salvador Dalí (painting, sculpture) and Luis Buñuel (cinema).
By the schools entrance, someone had graffitied the name ‘García Lorca’ on a wall, which always made me think there was a personal connection with the poet. Our teachers, among whom I recall Manuel, Carmina or Felix would teach us mathematics, Spanish language, and gymnastics.
They too encouraged us to read Lorca’s verses aloud, creating a sort of artistic dynamic that would feed itself over time. It’s been more than 20 years from , and I still picture Carmina calling me out for talking too much, or help us dive into poetry, literature and the art of writing.
The episode mentioned above is just a tiny bit of the educational process, but it exemplifies how the latter echoes throughout your personal journey. We all have that one teacher or professor with whom we relate. Maybe they taught us a specific subject we have not forgotten about and ended up making our own profession, or maybe they provided us with that empowering advice we carry along and have cherished to face challenging times. Maybe, they just join us in the process of learning and taught us how to relate respectfully…
Whatever the educational nature of our relation to them, teaching matters. Establishing solid, fruitful relations student to teacher and vice versa matters. Making the most out of the never-ending process of education matters. And ultimately, respecting teachers, professors and all those professionals involved in the learning process thanks to whom we have hopefully developed our critical thinking as well as creativity, empathy and curiosity matters.
As a teacher’s son myself, this is a wholehearted thank you to all the educators who help us find out who we are and what we want to become in life.
Written by Santi, our long term ESC Volunteer