A few weeks ago I wrote these few lines on social networks: “Since I am tired of hearing about “migrant delinquents”, I would like to tell you a little story… Once upon a time there was a Syrian family who lived peacefully nearby Damascus One day bombs started raining near their house so they left everything behind to settle a few hundred kilometers away But the war also started to move so the father, who spoke French very well ( he had studied in France), decided to apply for a visa through the Lebanese embassy.
After waiting for 2 years, they were allowed to settle in France. Eyad, the youngest son of the family, went to 2nd grade without knowing our language. He fought, day after day, to learn our alphabet, then our words, then our pronunciation. During this time, his father fought two battles: gaining recognition as a refugee and winning the battle against the cancer that is gnawing at him. The months went by… One step after another… Eyad went to 1st class, then to last class… he passed his white baccalaureate just before the February break by getting 12 in Physics and 15 in mathematics (well in the upper grade averages).
A few weeks ago he obtained refugee status thanks to the many steps of his father, who unfortunately could not enjoy this moment after he passed away a few days earlier. I have been guiding this young person for more than 2 years in connection with the association that follows his family and he is there, this morning, for me, working again and again to get his baccalaureate degree and become a mathematics teacher one day… I would also like us to talk about these young people who lead the struggle for integration, who show inexhaustible courage, who take one step after another with dignity, without ever complaining, never ceasing to give thanks … »
Yesterday Eyad received his baccalaureate and I am very happy for him first and then for our School of the Republic. In addition to the pass rates for this exam, which don’t say much anymore given the proven agreements about the grades, there are exemplary careers of deserving students and teams of professionals who are always mobilized.
A team at the service of student success
Eyad’s example perfectly shows what the system can do if it really gives itself the resources.
This story initially illustrates the will of a school principal who immediately did everything possible to allow this youngster to continue his education despite the vicissitudes of life. At the start of this first, the principal who took over fulfilled his mission by taking over, putting the student at the center of a school project.
Then there is the energy and technical nature of the teaching teams who struggled to find the means to transfer knowledge and skills, despite the language barrier and despite the very strong limitations associated with the weight of the programs.
And finally, the support of the administrative and medico-social teams to overcome the material difficulties inherent in this great insecurity of the refugees. This team with transversal and complementary skills was essential to the efficiency of such an ambitious challenge.
Recognized Competent Personnel
This example encourages us to think more broadly about what really contributes to this kind of success.
The School of the Republic is first and foremost about people and it is on them that its sustainability depends. The lack of attractiveness of our profession and the voluntary departures should really worry us. The consideration and esteem of our minister are necessary but not sufficient because in my opinion they remain too global and not very tangible. Yes, financial recognition is important and for me career progression should be different depending on the dedication to one’s job.
Yes, the recognition of our profession by society is essential because we often feel trapped in the cliché of the “civil servant who is always on vacation” and this is not the reality of our profession, because being a teacher is an education professional and that ” it’s a trade you can learn” and in which you (normally) progress over the years.
Yes, the direct recognition of our disciplinary and academic hierarchy who would be genuinely interested in what is happening in our classes, but more generally within the establishment, is essential.
And tomorrow …
I wanted to share this story because it may seem anecdotal, a little utopian, but it isn’t.
Fortunately, we have our share of small and big successes in all schools. And it’s these stories of brotherhood that allow us to stay motivated despite the infamous dysfunctions that could lead us to give up.
Tomorrow I hope that, thanks to the knowledge and confidence gained, Eyad will succeed in the mathematics faculty and that in a few years I can call him “Colleague”.
He will surely become a motivating and motivated, firm and caring teacher who will remember that there are outstretched hands that we do not forget…
Physics and Chemistry Teacher – Lycée Lurçat Martigues