“Teaching college is one of the best things that ever happened to me,” enthuses Mara Goyet

He has been a history-geography teacher for a quarter of a century and does not tire of his work. In Can we graduate from teaching and reconcile with college? Seen this Thursday, Mara Goyet passionately describes the different aspects of her work. Without erasing the challenges that teachers face: the lack of resources that institutions suffer from, the complex management of the continuity of education during the Covid crisis, the trauma of the death of Samuel Pati… “”Finishing a teacher” sounds like a danger; it’s a chance for me,” he wrote, Minister of Education Pap A book that came at the right time as Ndiaye announced new arrangements for the college.

In the midst of a teacher recruitment crisis, your book sounds like a vocation. How do you explain why your profession still fascinates you so much after 25 years of experience?

Teaching college is one of the best things that ever happened to me. And my work excites me even more today. At the beginning of my career, I especially valued the transmission and perpetuation of culture… And I was very serious about my profession. But little by little I freed myself from a series of instructions. And in this profession, you always have the possibility of advancement, which is very stimulating.

“You are closer to codes, social networks, new words,” you say. Does teaching teenagers make it possible to age less quickly?

It even keeps you a child! Teenagers are constantly in turmoil, constantly changing and have an inexhaustible vitality.

You don’t hesitate to tell jokes in class and use humor in your lessons. Is this the secret to getting your students’ attention?

This is my technique for the most effective transfer of knowledge. You have to be willing to improvise and be creative while teaching. Humor is a great way to convey information. Since the programs change little, I try to proceed differently each year, adapted to my age and students. Otherwise, I’ll miss it! You have to take pains not to fall into a routine.

You write: “The older I am, the kinder I am to students.” Conversely, one would think that teachers were less tolerant of the experience…

No, because after 25 years of teaching, I am no longer afraid of my students. There is no need to panic to prevent flooding. I also have a feeling that I have a better understanding of high school students, their troubles, their confusion…

“Being a college professor is guaranteed to inspire little admiration,” you write. How to explain the lack of recognition of teachers in society?

First, with their low salaries. Then, because the mythology surrounding the college teacher is often negative. It is often described as lazy, overworked… And many adults have bad memories of their university years.

Why do you designate a college as “unloved by the institution”?

I defend the idea of ​​a single college. The problem is that it counts “junior high school”. However, some students are already in serious academic difficulty when they enter. We don’t have enough human resources to help them. Moreover, the design of school education during these years does not take into account that secondary school is a corridor between childhood and adolescence. School requirements are sometimes too high for those who struggle to pass this age.

According to you, the number of students who are on the verge of dropping out has increased significantly in recent years. For what reasons?

I observe that there are more and more students who do not have vitality, who work less, and do not talk much. This is due to their lifestyle, addiction to cell phones, lack of communication with adults, the anxiety-provoking climate they grew up in with attacks and climate crisis… And when they were already in a bad situation, Covid knocked them down. Their parents are distraught and ask us for help, but we have a hard time getting them.

Do you think Pap Ndiaye’s announcement this Wednesday to organize an extra hour of French or math lessons a week to strengthen the skills of 6th graders is a step in the right direction?

One hour of support will not be enough to change the situation. This is a lazy solution.

You mention the death of Samuel Pati as a collective trauma. What has changed in your teaching style and colleagues?

Some censor themselves out of politeness or fear of students. They realized that what they said in class could completely escape them and be misunderstood or distorted. And this could have consequences for their safety. For my part, I don’t censor myself, but often when I get home I wonder if my course was well received.

According to you, “secularism has been devalued and exploited.” How can it be better understood by students?

Secularism is not liked. It is necessary to discuss this with students from an early age in order to show interest in development in the worldly framework.

You’re talking about a “potty” relationship between teachers and students’ parents, that is?

Parent-teacher WhatsApp groups are flourishing. A small incident in the classroom can take on huge proportions very quickly. Both teachers and parents should strive to restore mutual trust.

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