15 #Colors (What if I'm color blind?) #dreamuary2018
I never liked colors.
I liked to draw characters and object in black and white from a flat piece of paper and show it to no one. I would not go to fancy stores to get my supplies. There were no such stores where I lived. I used the coal from the fireplace or my grandmother's morning coffee to paint.
I created only for myself.
Years later I became a teacher for the first time. Only then, I learned the value of colors.
Every morning I would have different hues in front of me that changed with mood or life events. It was my first year as a teacher and some of these children were taller than me and had never learned to spell their names, but they were versed in ways of life that no one their age or my age or any age should be.
They had no interest in the beauty of our language, poetry, literature, grammar rules or following the syllabus... Why would they? Mostly the exercises in the textbooks asked them to write about their life... to confess, to make it real, to leave proof on a sheet of paper and sign it at the end.
I began to see their colors dim.
Every day a little bit more monochromatic and dull. I put the textbooks aside and I brought art and music into the classroom. I reached for each one of their doors. I fought to open it one by one and visit their worlds. I showed them new words, grammar rules, poetry, taught some to spell their name for the first time and gave them tools to express their true colors. Behind my classroom door, we built a safe world where they could be. I had to break a few rules, but I'm sure I've learned from them as they learned from me.
And then the police came and took one of them away.
I stopped being a teacher for almost five years. I came back to a class of six-year-olds years later to find some vibrant innocent colors, some... not so much...
More doors to open... I accepted the challenge this time armed with colors, art and hope. Hope to be amazed by the promise of greatness that some already showed, and to be able to fight horrible secrets that were already there to unveil in some of the children...
Always with the understanding that good work had to be done besides teaching: I am, You are, He is...
Titcher "how do you say banana in English?"
I dedicate Polly and the Black Ink to all my students.
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