Vocation knows no sacrifice. Helping does not understand excuses. And teaching knows above all delivery things. With these premises he lives Mary Knight, a rural teacher who leaves homework for her students at the gate to the field where they live in the Santa Fe town of Maciel.
Mother of three children and with 20 years of teaching, this woman knows that, in these difficult times, her will is essential so that the boys can continue learning. She lives in Maciel, and travels 10 kilometers and more to the homes of his students. She is not only her teacher, she is her partner, her friend, and sometimes her mother.
“Since there are no classes and the boys do not have internet or telephones, it occurred to me to leave the task hanging in bags in the gates. When a week passes, I go and remove them with homework done. We talked at a distance, and they asked me what they didn’t understand and we chatted for a while. They miss me, and I miss them. “, counted in dialogue with TN and The People.
To the Rural Educational Center 303 Antonio Arenales 20 students attend, seven in kindergarten and 13 in primary school. And Maria is the only teacher. Once a week a teacher goes for the little ones, but the other days she takes care of all of them. He not only teaches them but also celebrates birthdays.
Before the pandemic of coronavirus, was the first to arrive at school. At 7:45 I waited for the boys, and at eight the classes started until noon. Some students live near the school, but others walk up to three kilometers to go to learn, and when it rains they cannot get there. “We don’t have gymnastic classes, or music classes, but as we can, we sing some folklore with everyone,” he laughs.
When they leave rural school, some of the boys follow high school. But for this they have to move to the town, and many leave and stay working in the fields with their family.
The boys go to town once a year, when spring is celebrated. María is the one in charge of notifying them and often goes looking for them to spend a different day. But not only that, the mothers ask him to make a purchase at the pharmacy or to take an appointment at the hospital.
In the bags that he leaves in the gates, in addition to the homework, the teacher brings them the materials, because many families do not have the money to buy them. “This week I brought them scissors, colored paper, and glue because they had to do crafts. It is important for the kids to be creative and entertain themselves these days.”
For Maria, school is much more than that, it is “the family union because everything is shared there”. “They call me ‘teacher’, and that word contains much more, because many times I am their mother. The boys need hugs, a mime, a caress.”
María did not make a mistake in choosing to be a rural teacher when she decided to do it back in 1999. Because that requires being brave in the face of storms, and hiding in the face of setbacks.
Now is the time to be patient and trust others. When all this happens, Maria will be able to break the meter and a half away and hug your beloved students.