Quand tu veux construire un bateau …

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” Quand tu veux construire un bateau, ne commence pas par rassembler du bois, couper des planches et distribuer du travail, mais réveille au sein des hommes le désir de la mer grande et belle” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

That’s Maurice’s favorite quote.

Maurice Medici teaches ethics in APLL IMPLANTATION DES ARTS ET METIERS, La Louvière in Belgium. He is the kind of teacher who innovates, without caring about obstacles. He just believes in a cause, in a goal and pursues it. He is the teacher who inspires, motivates and puts his very personal touch on his school projects. He is one of the first etwinners that discovered the potentials of etwinning in Human Rights education and citizenship.

I asked him to give me his personal etwinning testimony. Publishing it in the end of the 10th year of etwinning is more or less symbolic, because my collaboration with him was like a milestone, an end and a beginning; it has changed the way I see school projects.

I’m publishing his text in French, respecting not only his unique style of writing, but the French language that I particularly love. In the end of the original text I’m adding the English translation.

 

C’etait un mardi. Il etait 10h42.

Celestin Freinet est entre dans ma vie.

Je comprenais pourquoi je voulais etre prof.

L’ecole n’etait pas une prison. On pouvait ouvrir l’ecole sur les autres et partager.

ETwinning est entre dans ma vie par hazard, sur le coin d’une table en buvant un cafe avec mon directeur. Il venait de recevoir une lettre concernant un programme d’echanges.

Il ne savait pas quoi en faire, il ne voyait pas, il ne comprenait pas.

Mon sang n’a fait qu’un tour…….. Ce qui etait impossible hier, ne l’etait plus.

Intenet debutait dans les ecoles.

Tout etait complique mais tout devenait realisable.

Lors de la premiere videoconference nous etions tous emus. Nous avons fait la fete. Nous venions de communiquer avec des Italiens et des allemands.

Le titre etait et est toujours cruellement d’actualite “Pour une meilleure integration dans une Europe nouvelle”.

Nous avons recu un prix. Le diplome est toujours dans le couloirs de l’ecole.

Celui dont je suis le plus fier, c’est Odysseus. Une idee folle comme toujours……

Raconter l’histoire d’un Ulysse moderne traversant la Belgique, la France, la Grece et l’Italie.

Nous avons ecrit a la maniere des surrealistes. Un ebook est ne. Une equipe est nee. Une amitie solide est nee.

Ulysse etait un aventurier . Nous sommes des aventuriers de l’education.

Ulysse a combattu le cyclope. Nous combattons l’inertie de l’enseignement.

Une classe eTwinning est une classe ou l’on partage et ou l’on rit. Odysseus a triomphe.

Nous avons tous ete primes dans nos pays respectifs.

Mes etudiants etaient tellement emus lors de la remise du prix.

Le fil n’est pas casse. Un jour, je le sais , je travaillerai a nouveau avec mes amis Cretois.

Ils m’ont indique le chemin….. Il y a eu un avant et un apres Odysseus.

Maurice Medici


 

It was a Tuesday, at 10.42.

Celestin Freinet entered my life.

I became aware of why I wanted to be a teacher.

The school was not a prison. We could open the school to others and share.

Etwinning entered my life by chance, on the corner of a table, drinking coffee with my director. He had received a letter concerning a project on exchanges. He didn’t know what to do, he couldn’t see, he didn’t understand.

I felt I had to act. What was impossible yesterday wasn’t anymore.

Internet was appearing in schools. Everything was complicated but everything was becoming achievable.

We were all moved with the first videoconference. We celebrated it. We had communicated with the Italians and the German partners.

The title was and is contemporary; “For a better integration in a new Europe”

We received a prize. The diploma is still in the corridor of the school.

The project I’m most proud of, is Odysseus. A crazy idea, as always… to narrate the story of a modern Ulysses who travels through Belgium, France, Greece and Italy. We wrote the story in a surrealistic way. An e-book was born. A team was born. A solid friendship was born.

Ulysses was an adventurer. We are the adventurers of education.

Ulysses fought the Cyclops. We fight the inertness of teaching.

An etwinning class is a class where we share and smile. Ulysses triumphed.

We were all awarded in our countries.

My students were so moved during the prize ceremony!

The doors of collaboration are not closed. Some day, I know, I will work with my Cretan friends again. They have showed me the way. There is a before and an after Odysseus.

Maurice Medici

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