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Saturday, 15 August 2020 15:33

Emotions found and never lost

A virus, Covid 19, on the afternoon of March 5, while the usual Class Council was taking place, decided to close the schools managing to impose its "law" there, where even two world wars could not.

Distance Learning has thus become the novelty that has filled the "forced" daily life in the houses, both for students and teachers. The difficulties were different and varied. The technological ones, the first to manifest themselves, were also the first to be resolved, thanks to the massive intervention of the school which distributed tablets and sim cards to all the children who needed them. Another difficulty was the resistance, on the part of some students, to having to turn on the video camera to be seen by teachers and classmates. There was little talk about this difficulty and, when we did, we limited ourselves to judging the children as unruly. Certainly someone has been unruly, but not all of them, because behind that lingering there was something precious: the safeguarding of a truth that out of modesty and respect for loved ones did not want to reveal.

We did not realize that we entered, without asking permission, into the homes and rooms (for those who have them) of these young people, violating their most hidden and personal world, part of their secrets, that which among the benches often don't come out. So some of us have known, sharing them even with laughter, the most hidden passions, through the posters on the walls of their room; but of others we discovered with pain and amazement their poverty, the daily difficulties they face with their large family, to live and study in a few square meters. We don't know how much it cost these guys to turn on the video camera, but we know we had in front of us, many little "giants" who, despite their young age, knew how to live with dignity without ever complaining, without taking advantage of their precarious condition, surprising us with the great lesson of humility which this time we have been given.

Through daily connections with the students of the various classes, teaching continued its course, the contents were transmitted and deepened, often even with the help of multiple technological systems, multiplying the commitment and work that did not have timetable anymore.

In this way, a new way of teaching and a new way of learning were experimented, which we cannot however define as "school".

This short word does not only contain well-organized and structured teaching, but much more. It is above all a place where, since childhood, most of the day is spent, becoming a second home for everyone. The only place that will never be forgotten because only there one lived among companions, as well as between students and teachers, that mysterious exchange of emotions, of complicity, of moods, of looks that read and speak, of smiles and, above all, of mutual growth.

The performance of the high school exams in attendance did nothing but confirm all this. Despite the due precautions that forced us to wear the mask for many hours (even 11!), the distance between us teachers and the students' accommodation in an even more distant desk and behind a Plexiglas screen, the emotion of returning to classroom was really strong for everyone.
Being able to look into the eyes again, accompany each student on the short journey from the "waiting" room to the exam room, encouraging him with the words that only his teacher knows to be the "right" ones for him, transmitting to him that safety and serenity that before an exam is sought in the one you trust, to offer a handkerchief to dry and share the tears of joy of these students for having successfully finished the exams, but also of melancholy for an important chapter of one's life that ends, ready to face a new and completely unknown one. It was the confirmation that the school is not only the transmission of notions, but above all the human relationship, the exchange of emotions ... walking together teacher and student, that no virtual reality will ever be able to replace!
Gina
Read 15 times Last modified on Saturday, 22 August 2020 15:37

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Union “St. Catherine of Siena” of School Missionaries is a Dominican Religious Congregation.
We are called to accompany our contemporaries along their path with study and prayer and to seek along with them Gospel’s answers to the questions of our complex, multicultural society.
We want to live therefore coherently a Christianity of frontiers and be yeast and salt of the least visibility yet cause to leaven and give flavor.  
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