Friday, September 13, 2013

A Teaching Moment in Time, the TES, 13-09-2013



It's playtime, or 'patio' as my new class continue to call it. The sun beats mercilessly on the tarmac and the children seem oblivious to it, unlike the (mostly British) staff. I'm wearing my sunhat, sipping my water, hiding behind my sunglasses, and sheltering in the slim strip of shadow provided by the primary building.
Out in the glare, the activity is as intense as it always is. Two-thirds of the boys are pretending to be Iñiesta, Xavi, Ronaldo, Villa... How they can run and jump and tackle and kick in the heat, I don't know. There are basketball players throwing basketballs, gymnasts cartwheeling, skippers skipping, chasers chasing and disco dancers twirling and whirling in (near) unison... It makes me sweat just watching it all.
A gang of small girls pelt towards me. They seem barely able to move their legs fast enough to keep up with the speed their upper bodies are going at. I'm sure, any second, I'm going to be dealing with grazed knees, missing milk-teeth and small grit-encrused palms. 
But they skitter to a breathless halt without mishap and gasp the request that always seems to be the highlight of their day.
'We reeeng da bell?'
I look at my watch. Rub my chin thoughtfully. Strictly speaking there are three minutes to go. The infantas hop from foot to foot with barely contained expectation and excitement. Out on the Camp Nou pitch an attacker has broken free and is bearing down on goal. A skipper is getting breathless counting towards their target, '85, 86, 87...'
What a joy it is to share such pleasure at such small things.

A lesson to us all, perhaps?

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