The end of the school year is almost a fact and this means that summer break will kick in very soon. Today my pupils handed in their last exams and I will be the happy one to grade them. It was quite a sight to see them struggling with some of rather less straight forward questions. While I am observing them I start to feel a bit sorry for them.
When I then catch a glimpse at the first answers I always have to hold my breath. I am not going to go into detail but some pupils marked Denmark as Belgium on a map of Europe or thought that the CD&V has lost the last elections or that Justine Henin will make her comeback on the tenniscourt.
As a teacher you can then feel like that there are some real lost cases out there. After more then eleven years I have learned to put things in the right perspective! I am not the creator of great minds and some of these kids in my audience will be happy when they will be able to find their way in the so less logicial world of administration and can fill out a bank transfer. I don't mind that just a few know why the oil prices went down or that Obama is a member of the democratic party. I am just relieved when some of them turn out to have at least some minor interest in the world outside. On top of that I am proud of those that manage to express their thoughts and opinions in a correct way and try to have an open mind.
That last one can make the difference and I have the strong personal opinion that it is worth to fight for an open mind. So when I watch the news or surf by on some of the news websites I frequently visit I am quite amazed by what is happening in Iran. When the election results were announced and the winner was known I was not that suprised.
But then it seemed that something happened that I had not seen coming. Many 'open' minds in Iran wanted to express their thoughts and came out on their streets to cry out the injustice they felt. Suddenly I can witness once more what risks some people need to take in order put in action the so taken for granted freedom of speech.
I feel lately that freedom is not something that you can take for granted and that you encounter many people with a hidden agenda. My six sense has kicked in many times the last months. While I am out there I face many people whose first impressions not seemed to be the right ones. Of course I have to be honest and state that it is rather so human to have a second layer under the one that you show to the majority of the human race. Most of the times it is only behind many closed doors that fences will go down and will then show the real you .
This school year I have been the witness of a rather interesting but at the same time a bit of terrifying changing group dynamic. Because I like to be an observer and don't like to choose sides I will not judge anyone. I know that even I am not a white sheet of paper. I do have some ambitions and I feel like that my present job lacks the deeper dimension I am after. I am still a happy teacher and I can still state that my school is very nice challenging environment to work . But I feel that the time has come to turn the page and start a new chapter.
I don't want to point the finger at any person and tell him or her that she or he is just screwing around or destroying something. In destruction others might see vision and change for the better! Perhaps I just don't fit in anymore because I can't manage to walk around with my fences up. It might still take some time before I find a new challenge. But I have some spare time and the patience!
I also won't forsake all the open minds that I will face out there. And on top of that I truely believe in the very wise words of Francis Bacon:'A wise man will make many more opportunities then he finds!' It seems that many around me opened already their door when opportunity knocked on. Well, I am not going to sit and wait till it passes by! I am fully loaded up and ready for a walk on the wild side of life!