While I was visiting blogs today a post on Dru’s blog reminded me of a roof that I had been lucky enough to visit.
At the end of the last century (!) I was teaching English in several primary schools locally. One of the schools in the north of the department was in a old convent which had been seized during the revolution. I imagined the beautiful old staircase being quietly used by the nuns – not by noisy children as it is today. I was teaching the children who would be leaving for the ‘big school’ the following September. I really thought that their teacher was called Boris Vian - that was the name on the classroom door. When I went into the headmaster’s classroom I realised that their headmaster couldn’t possibly be Victor Hugo. I was pleased I hadn’t addressed the teacher as Monsieur Vian. Anyway, the teacher, whoever he was, was someone really special. The class had adopted one of the contestants of the Vendee Globe boat race and he was using the race as a way of teaching all of the subjects throughout the year. The children were learning to plot a course, study weather, geography, natural history and so on in the context of the race - oh yes, and compose a letter in English! In the March of the year they would be staying for a week in Vendee and hopefully greeting their adopted contestant as he sailed home.
The teacher was also an artist so he’d arranged for the children to pass some time at a workshop based on the work of a late local artist – I forget his name. Towards the end of my time there the teacher took me up into the roof which was beautiful, completely wooden and divided into three areas; computers, library and art. One of the dividers to the areas was a huge sail painted by the children at the art workshop. With the sunlight coming through the windows it equalled stained glass!
Those children have probably left the school system by now. I hope they remember and appreciate their teacher