Letter to my grandchildren

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On Tuesday, May 12th, I should be at school... eight weeks after I left you in shock and awe. I should be in school and I don't know what our school will be like then...

Will there be white marks drawn in front of each class, one metre apart so that you can line up in a row of onions? You who used to enter the classroom freely when I invited you at the end of recess, without any strident ringing.

Is there any way to get to class without you two running into each other? You who used to go and hug each other to say hello, say good morning and how are you this morning?

And what am I going to do when you, Leanna, are going to rush to stick to me and shout, "Hello, teacher! » ? And Nesma, too, and Yasmina? And Mehdi? And Dehya? ... Some of you hug me every time we meet... three or four times a day!

I have to teach you to read this year... How can I imagine depriving you of the books in the class?

How can you condemn the library where you will dream, search, look, read? How can you "read" without a book? What meaning can you give to this fundamental learning if I forbid you its most beautiful messenger?

Of course, I will explain the barrier gestures and send you to wash your hands as often as necessary. Of course, I will organize the class space differently. Of course, I'm going to give you each one of the materials that I'll ask you not to lend, of course

I thank your parents for keeping you, when they can...they know you well and they love you...and I know that those of you that I am going to welcome will be entrusted to me with fear in their bellies, with as much love but fewer choices...and my responsibility to them will be all the more salient.

But yet, how can I respect this disembodied protocol and give up everything that is the essence and value of my profession?

So...

If you run towards me, I will welcome you, if you read a book I will let you dive into it, if you lend your pencil to your neighbour, even if he is a metre away from you, I will close my eyes and if you come to tell me a secret I will listen to you...

Otherwise, I'll wither away watching you lose your humanity and mine with it.

Sabine Gessain, Teacher

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