Hospitality in a class experience

Autor: Edison Francisco Viveros Chavarría

Correo electrónico: edison.viverosch@amigo.edu.co

I start my class at six in the morning. I prefer to be punctual because that way I tell my students that punctuality offers a message of respect for the other classmates. Time is a way of offering hospitality, the kind that my teachers offered me with whom I discovered why I like being a teacher: I think this is as accompanying processes to join senses with others. The moment, Philosophy students have been told, is kairological: that is, precise, timely, and unique. I tell the students of the different bachelor’s degrees in Education –inhabitants of our classroom- that we are going to work on an issue that links children with the community and family. I tried to prepare a class that would motivate (disturb) those little and young girls’ faces in front of me. I tried to use my sense of humor to attract their attention and then I combined with a few complicated words of strange authors away to put myself in the place of the intellectual teacher. My students were silent for the first few classes and then connected their ideas and criticisms to a system that, like me, had excluded us in precarious ways. We all had an implicit complaint about our society, and we thought that education was an alternative to change things that did not work well, so we thought the first weeks of class.

The strike came that demanded justice, respect, and support from the government of Iván Duque for the Public University. Then the anger over the entrance of ESMAD to the University Campus of the University of Antioquia was added to this. These were two reasons strong enough to stop classes and organize outings to protest. One of the students tells me: “Professor, my mother has died. Honestly, I don’t want this strike, I need the classes, to see them all, in you I find a sense of life now that I am facing death” (Personal communication).

Walked with these situations in our mind and the pandemic arrived. That one that we were just learning about and began to read its constitution and its effects. Everything happened so quickly and when we realized what had happened, we have already confined our houses (to home). Problems appeared that never have a public word because they are lived in privacy, in the silence of each one. Economic difficulties and with our family relationships showed us that the others can be uncomfortable, but at the same time they can offer us the most heartfelt possibility of help.

The strike lost its momentum because all strength was concentrated on facing the emergency in which the tiny and lethal virus was putting us. We lost physical contact with our families and friends and we could only see each other on a screen. We dream that this was something temporary. We longed at each start of class to be able to return to the classroom and interact with each girl with the others. Since we managed to make cartography, we were left with the desire to learn more about working methods with communities and families to generate processes of inclusion with
children who in the future would pass through our classrooms. Step by step, we understood the seriousness of the emergency and we saw before our eyes the passage of all the girl students, their needs, their precariousness, and their suffering.

I was preparing a class and a message reaches me on my cell phone: “Teacher, my mother has been diagnosed with the virus, I am distressed, I am afraid”.

The sadness was in me and I tried to find some useless words to comfort her a little. Words are useless in one situation like that. But whoever was listening through a WhatsApp chat came up with what until today has been the beginning of this hospitality experience:

Dear teacher, what you tell me makes me feel better, because in this situation what one expects the most is for humanity to appear from us. So, thank you for offering me your availability and I give you my hug in the distance.

I closed the chat and looked down. I was so shocked that the moment came to my mind when I sold empanadas and buñuelos in my neighborhood to help my mother with the household bills. My mother showed me the vocation of being a teacher when she recited by heart the religious prayers that I had to learn for my first communion. An adult woman who had never been to school, who did not know how to read and write, showed me that education does not go first through a scholarship but through the company, willingness, and hospitality. Curricula, assessments, and didactics are excuses to get closer to the other and to develop deep, powerful, powerful, and transforming meanings of life. I closed the chat and all my childhood of ripped shoes and mismatched and big gift clothes for my small body, it made me realized that I was in the right place, that I was with the right people and I changed the course of the course: I turned towards the girls, towards the students and everything opened like a rare flower that surprises us, similarly the one that put the beauty of singularity before his eyes: create a bond with them. All of them took on the appearance of that flower for me and I took care to think about each next class, each word, and each gesture in such a way that they would receive a message of hope rather than a scholarly class, a message of understanding that they would only achieve by looking out to offer hospitality. They are going to be great teachers. The cooperation was immediate and step by step we supported each other, with words and gestures, to face an emergency that took away the way of life we had had.

I am preparing my class for six in the morning and the sun comes through my window like a strange illumination. I observe the passage of time, of the moments through things.

La editorial “Hospitality in a class experience” fue publicada en la revista Poiésis Edición No. 39, del año 2020.

Nota legal:

Naassomz1. (05 de agosto de 2018). Personas, estudiantes, universidad. [Imagen de Pixabay]. https://pixabay.com/es/photos/personas-estudiantes-universidad-6027028/

Cómo citar este texto siguiendo las indicaciones de la séptima edición de APA:

Viveros Chavarría, E. F. (2020). Hospitality in a class experience [Editorial]. Poiésis, (39), pp. 12-14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21501/16920945.3761

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