Here is my piece of hope for this world that has so many horrible things going on that we hear of through the media.
In this almost forgotten African country of Benin, where most of the people outside Africa doesn’t know where it is or that it exists, last Friday night we had teacher council. This is a reunion of 80+ teachers and the administration people when class by class is presented by the PP-Professeur Principal (class responsible) once every trimester. The main struggles of the class are shared together with special cases and the different teachers who intervene in the class brainstorm to solve the problems or share what has worked with this or that student.
It started at 7pm. It was 9:50pm and I was exhausted of the week and the discussion was in the peak of passion and heat. In one moment I took a step back as teacher and PP that I am at the school and looked at the whole situation from an external point of view. And I thought: This is very cool. 80+ teachers and 2 nuns at 10pm on a Friday night, all dressed in their very beautiful and colorful clothes, passionately looking for answers to improve their students’ development and lives in general. But nobody knew, other than all the teachers’ spouses and the community of sisters here.
So, among all these sad news of bombings, earthquakes, wars and torture, here in forgotten Africa there is a good reason to be hopeful: raising good citizens takes effort and dedication and sometimes Friday nights. And not only as a teacher but as a parent and in many other professions and roles as well. The council on Friday was happening at the same time as the France bombings, it was arriving home that I learnt the news. And I couldn’t but think that our Friday night could not have been better spent: counterbalancing hate and violence with care, passion and hope.