Advice For New Teachers

Imagem: Escrita Livre

  1. What was the best piece of advice a veteran teacher gave you and why?
  2. If you could tell your first-year-teaching self one thing, what would it be and why?
  3. Tell a story about a lesson you learned in your first year of teaching that has impacted you throughout your career.
  4. Put together a list of resources you think every new teacher needs.


1 – “You must link personal creativity with the common real world: both will become richer.” This advice opened me a royal path to engage with perseverance in long term group activities without losing my inner compass and to give my best to deal with life school challenges.

2 – Be free, follow your intuition: Listen to the kids, ask them to write down their most beautiful questions, collect them, and bring them all together to each one of them as a bunch of flowers to engage deep conversations and make them taste the power of writing.

The reason I would tell such things is because I’ve been given similar advices and they have perfectly fit with my way of dwelling in class. My young students, 32 years ago, were challenging and inspiring at the same time. Listening to their own questions and unleashing their hidden freedom to express their inner world in written words was a deep joy.

3 – As I was standing in the corridor trying to reach the right classroom, a little 5th grader suddenly came to me, took me by her hand all along the corridor with a charming smile until my destiny. She showed me my way quietly, with an exquisite delicacy, as if I was a rare piece of crystal and could easily break.

Such gentleness touched me deeply and it lives in my memory as a metaphor of what is mysteriously at stake in the privilege of communicating so closely with children.

4 – Even if a new teacher comes to a school that isn’t totally innovating yet, and where there is plenty of “talk and chalk” lessons, I thing he needs, at least, to be sure of this two resources: the warm support and sharing with his colleagues in the school community and the freedom to create new approaches of his duties, mainly inspired in his own students’ higher expectations.  


En Honneur des JMJ

Image: Jeunes Cathos

“Chers jeunes, votre chemin ne s’arrête pas ici. Le temps ne s’arrête pas aujourd’hui. Partez sur les routes du monde, sur les routes de l’humanité, en demeurant unis dans l’Église du Christ !”

Jean Paul II, Messe du 24 Août 1997 

Nous célébrons les vingt années des JMJ à Paris avec le bien aimé Jean Paul II, du 18 au 24 Août, 1997. Ces journées ont été si intenses qu’elles demeurent vivantes dans  les archives du cœur.

 Elles y demeurent, non pas comme un glorieux souvenir du passé, mais, plutôt, et précisément par la force d’avenir contenue dans ces moments surabondants de liberté vécue, elles soutiennent toujours le moment présent, dans ses soubassements, ayant gardé intacte toute la puissance de leur interpellation.

Ils étaient à peu près 800.000 jeunes lors de la vigile Pascale à Longchamp où le Pape a baptisé dix jeunes au total, deux de chaque continent. À chaque question posée lors de la profession de foi, et après la réponse du catéchumène, Jean Paul II demandait à la foule :

« –  Et vous, mes amis ? »

Sa voix portait plus que le son des mots humains, elle posait comme un tendre et inexorable défi, qui traversait la foule immense noyée dans la nuit, et rejoignait   le cœur de chacun, comme si le Pape était en face à face avec chacun de nous.

Image: Paris Notre Dame

Et voilà que vingt ans après, presque jour pour jour, 72 personnes, jeunes célibataires ou jeunes couples avec leurs enfants, partent aux quatre coins du monde, avec Fidesco, pour aller là où un appel au secours a retentit dans leurs vies avec plus de force que tous les risques qu’ils devront affronter.

Ils s’en vont en Indonésie, au Rwanda, en Inde, aux Philippines, à la République Démocratique du Congo, au Cambodja… pour offrir une ou deux années de leur vie au-près des enfants des rues, des handicapés, des étudiants pauvres, des médecins et infirmiers en détresse et sans recours.

Comment ne pas penser que c’est là encore un fruit qui a germé, une réponse à hauteur du mystérieux défi, tel une semence du Royaume, traversant cette nuit lumineuse, pour être déposé  dans le secret des jeunes cœurs?

Three Challenges in the Heart of Summer

Imagem: Oficina de Escrita

 I chose to answer to “Challenging Situations“, as I subscribed to the #EdublogsClub, in my old personal teacher blog, that I had left in rest for quite a while.

    The reason of my coming back is simple: my beloved school is on the edge of taking the path of innovation: this leaves me free again to share whatever I may be experiencing in the immense new world of 21st Century Education.

    And, as usual, the simple fact of sharing it, through blogging, in a rich Educators Community as Edublogs, is a strong motivation to reflect upon what I’m learning or which challenges are obliging me to take some steps out of my confort zone.

     Actually, I’m working in at least three completely different projects that may be considered as “challenging situations” not to speak about  having to think in English, even if I may eventually choose to write in French, for a break.

        First, and most difficult to me, I’m taking a course on Arduino “for absolute Beginners” with the precious help of instructor Michael James. I’m supposed to write down my learning in a notebook divided in four sections and even to keep an online portfolio with the slow steps I need to fulfil in order to conceive and build a project.

     Secondly, as I’m a Tutor and my School is working on “Living Values” as the global theme of the school year, I’m trying to relate what we are studying about SEL and Emotional Intelligence – mostly through Prof. Maurice Elias writings – with the curriculum of Philosophy about Values for my 10th graders. I have already read the thoughful post of Mélanie Ruiz and found wonderful information about emotional intelligence.

    “Last, but not least” I’m working on the divulgation of a book for youth written by an ancient student of mine, Filipa Sáragga, that it is in itself a mine of different and essential values: there is a Blue Princess that must overcome the fact that she has been born different in order to forgive bullies, accept herself and allow to be loved.

    So, these are the three “Challenging Situations” dwelling in the heart of my holidays and making me come back to blogging.