He is tall, very tall. And he makes himself small, very small. ” I didn’t do it on purpose, madam, it came out on its own Iheb flattens, sincerely sorry at the idea of having offended his teacher. ” It is not the first time ! She pretends to scold him. ” Not the first time you’ve called me Mom! », She laughs, almost touched that the young man, on the threshold of his majority, has used this affectionate word to address her, provoking the hilarity of the class.
→ DOSSIER. Back to school like no other
This scene, observed at the end of August during a refresher course in a professional high school, will inevitably bring back memories to many teachers, to many teachers. With lapsus that sometimes even play out for generations, such a young and dapper mistress hearing herself called “Grandma” …
Learning is nourished by human warmth
The anecdote highlights the affective dimension that comes into any educational relationship. Children, especially small ones, cannot draw from themselves all the motivation necessary to learn. And the obligatory nature is not enough to put him in a good position with regard to his homework book. If he gets involved in his writing, if he takes his math problem seriously, it is also because he wants to please his parents, that he seeks satisfaction, affection in eyes of his teacher. Do we not say that he puts “heart” into it, that he is “committed” to doing well?
Contrary to what the rise of distance education might suggest, mobilizing algorithms that are infinitely more precise, more efficient than the brains of an army of teachers, learning is nourished and will continue to be largely nourished by human interactions. Of human warmth. Heat that some people may have sorely missed during confinement.
The right distance
The challenge for teachers is to inject the right amount of emotionality, taking into account the needs of the children, the personality of each of them, but also being aware of their own aspirations for recognition, to not telling love, and restraining them if necessary.
Too cold, too distant, the teachers risk leaving some students by the wayside. Too warm, they could, especially men, be accused of suspicious proximity to children. And it is clear that against a background of pedophile affairs shaking entire sections of society, the gentlemen do not jostle to teach in kindergarten, where children still need to be pampered, “mothered”.
Learning to learn for yourself
Likewise, too strong an attachment, on both sides, can generate unhealthy situations, close to the hold, as we sometimes see outside of school, in the relationship between a piano or tennis teacher and “His” allegedly protected.
More commonly, too much affection in the educational relationship can create a dependency, harmful in the long term: how many slightly fragile students collapse on entering college, where they can no longer rely on them at all times. privileged links with one and the same teacher?
The emotional is an integral part of the job. But the professional posture requires to regulate it. And use the links that are formed to instill the desire to learn. The desire to learn today and also tomorrow, in another class, another establishment. The desire to learn for fun, to learn for oneself.