A child in a class of her own

When the teacher finally found the student he had been searching for… he felt that life had joyously smiled

Sábado al mediodía Neira, Caldas, Colombia
Sunday noon           Neira, Caldas, Colombia

“Yes, sir. You are completely right.”  (continues…)        

“What’s that you’re saying?”, he answered disconcerted by the ease in which the situation was unfolding and a little more relaxed. Taking advantage of the turn in the events, he decided to underscore his parental authority.

“So, now, as it turns out, you’re agreeing with me, and only, to keep me happy! What I would like to know, is what you think. How about this: don’t you think it’s time that you learn to face life without those books in your hand all the time? Maybe, learn to walk without a crutch! You have much to learn and those books aren’t helping at all! Don’t you stand there like if you were speechless. Answer when you’re spoken to!”

Día de mercado Neira, Caldas, Colombia
Market day           Neira, Caldas, Colombia

They were both so immersed in the discussion that neither of them realized when the mother suddenly arrived. In absolute silence and with her arms crossed, she leaned against the wall in the entrance to the shed, her face an emotionless mask.

The woman was very interested in the outcome of this confrontation that had risen between Camila and her father, on the matter of the child’s reading habits. Barely a week had passed since that revealing conversation with Camila’s teacher, professor Rafita. In his easy-going, straightforward way, he had expressed his opinion on her performance at school.

Vida del pueblo Neira, Caldas Colombia
Town life           Neira, Caldas Colombia

“In all the years, I have been teaching at the school, ma’am, I have seen a great number of kids go by, through that little classroom. Some of them, turned out to be tremendously bright and promising, and they have left some extremely rewarding experiences behind. Others, perhaps not so extraordinary, have held their own and I would like to believe, learned something in return. Bearing that in mind, allow me to say the following: Among all those wonderful children I have mentioned, your daughter, Camila, stands out in her own unique and truly exceptional way. Never, in all my years as a teacher, have I encountered the privilege of teaching such a gifted child as your daughter! Camila is that rare gem that teachers hope to find, if only once, in their life.”

Camino a casa Supía, Caldas, Colombia
On the way home           Supía, Caldas, Colombia


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   ©  All photos by edudelcorral

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