“Social distance has created a climate of mistrust and emotional estrangement between people”

We begin this new course after two courses seasoned by the hygienic-sanitary measures that the pertinent authorities have indicated to us. A course that, at least during the first quarter, we are going to continue with those measures that are not comfortable at all. However, points out Carlos Ortiz Sanchidrián, director of the
CEU San Pablo school – Sanchinarro
“If we look back, we realize that they have worked and that schools have not been sources of contagion in general terms. Therefore, we have to continue with enthusiasm after the holidays we have had doing things just as well and without losing hope in the ever closer future of eradicating the pandemic.

Today, and after the two courses lived, how do you see from your work as director this course 2021-22?

New projects give us hope and optimism. If we manage to see this 2021-2022 academic year as a new challenge, we will ensure that the day to day is not monotonous and that we really enjoy our work. For it, it is very important that families, students and teachers work hand in hand more united than ever. We must understand the people in front of us, fostering a climate of empathy that leads us to put ourselves in the place of the other person when saying things, making decisions, encouraging or correcting. As Gregorio Luri says, “the school is not an amusement park” and any educational stage is marked by work and effort, but after these last two years we have lived, It is clear that our day to day in schools does have some attraction: it is an emotional roller coaster. If we achieve that balance between the parts, everything flows better, and parents, teachers and students will create a true educational community in which we will all row in the same direction.

What recommendations would you avoid for teachers? And the parents? to the students?

I would encourage the teachers and all the staff of the educational centers (PAS, cleaning, dining rooms, extracurricular, etc.) to continue with that joy, dedication and optimism that these last two courses have shown. We must not lower our arms because we work by vocation: the vocation is often seen in an instant, but is lost in a shorter instant. However, even if moments of crisis or doubt come, asking for help and knowing that we are not alone, he recovers and even strengthens and increases.

I would ask families to continue to trust us. There have been two courses in which we have seen each other behind a screen, they have left their children first thing in the morning and have picked them up at the end of the day and we have not been able to interact, speak naturally, see the day to day of the schools … and this situation has led to an increase in uncertainty and mistrust in what was happening behind the doors of educational centers. Our reason for being, the reason for being of all educational institutions, whether public, concerted or private, are their children, we live by and for them: we will always seek the best for each of the students we have in schools. The decisions that are made, although sometimes they are not understood or liked, are always thinking about them and their future. Don’t stop trusting education professionals. Today it seems that we are all experts in medicine, education, gastronomy … in everything. By opening any internet browser and looking for a text on one or another topic, it may seem that we already have a doctorate in that matter. Behind each teacher there are many hours of work, training and delivery.

First of all, I want to congratulate the students for their effort in these two courses that we have passed. Surely they have not been the courses they expected, either on a social or academic level. But they have made a true master’s degree: they have achieved what seemed impossible and they have done it very well. Now it is time to continue, to make up for the small deficiencies inherent in the situation with effort and work. We start a course that in a certain sense continues with prudent measures and it is normal that we are tired, but we cannot abandon ourselves and we must always keep our eyes on the end with hope and being aware that it is everyone’s task and responsibility to defeat the virus.

What should we all have learned by now?

I think no one is going to forget that March 11th in which we were told to the schools that we had to close and start working online with our students, whether they were 3 or 17 years old. It was a challenge in academic year 19-20 that teachers have been valued and recognized very little and that throughout the past academic year 20-21 we have continued to develop and I think we can say that we have finished with excellent results.

It seems in a certain sense that we have become accustomed to the numbers of infections and sick people, to masks and to living in a world in which we have only had to interpret looks; social distance in classrooms, recreational spaces and in society in general, has created a climate of significant mistrust and an emotional estrangement between people.

But at the same time, this health, political, social and educational crisis has made us give importance to the things that really do: family, friends, listening, empathy, joy and Faith. I believe that now we value useful time much more than before: anger and arguments no longer make sense because we all really want to live and live with true happiness.

For students, families and teachers, being able to work in person has been an injection of optimism, despite the measures that we had to take care of in educational centers. We have shown that schools have not been sources of contagion and more than ever that friction, social interaction, hugs and in general affection are the hinge on which the success of educational history is based of each of our students and their families.

“Understanding that the first thing in the educational work is to conquer the heart, with a love that is understood and appreciated, with a kind treatment and worrying about its joy.” These words from Ángel Ayala, founder of the Catholic Association of Propagandists, should be the common prologue to any educational legislation, and more from these two pandemic courses. If we have learned that the heart comes first in any circumstance, we will understand that people are the most important asset of any institution. This I think is the most important thing that we all should have learned.


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