It was twenty five years ago. Every Friday evening from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm, I found a class of Terminal STG (now STMG). Most of the big guys who tried to impress me by coming to claim points from the height of their 1.90 meter. They scared me a little but I did not tell them. Some sniffed coke, others had smoked so much in the afternoon that I had to wake them up. The girl in front of me was an orphan, lived in a home and was pregnant with her next door neighbor who was coming out of jail. I know, it can do a little Cosette but it still exists. Not a very receptive audience even though some students were trying to work. They always welcomed me at this time by singing “we are at the weekend, we are at the weekend, we are, we are, we are at the weekend.
They annoyed me but I liked them anyway. They were a little rebellious and I liked that. And above all, I tried to understand them and to encourage them as best as possible. They had abilities but little method and especially other concerns. Not easy. They were trying to stand up to me and I was standing up to them while respecting them. They were forbidden to tell me that they were null.
One day, I asked them to take a sheet to do the scheduled assignment. They told me that I had not told them before, that nothing was planned. I tried to convince them to get to work, but nothing to do.
And there, it’s gone all alone. And yet, I pay attention to my vocabulary in class:
“You really take me for a bitch!”
They did not say anything, took a leaf and did their homework. They must have seen that they had exceeded the limits.
In the next class, not a sound, which, given the class, was rather disturbing. As I wrote the date on the board, I felt a presence in my back. I turned around and there I saw the great heron of the class, a huge bouquet of flowers in hand.
“But who’s it for?”
“Well, it’s for you, madam, from the whole class”
“But why ?”
“There is a card inside”
I pulled the card from the envelope and read “Madam, we do not take you at all for what you believe, quite the contrary”.
And there, the teacher a little (euphemism) sensitive who played the big arms, felt tears come to her eyes.
“But Madam, do not cry, it’s true, you understand us.”
Just to write that twenty-five years later, I am still moved.
It was these students of classes called “less prestigious” but they are the ones who did this kind of gestures and came to thank us at the end of the results of the baccalaureate.