When I was in Singapore with NorthLight, Mrs Chua Yen Ching, our principal would always remind both teachers and students, “The darker the night, the brighter you shine.”
A little background on NorthLight School, to be able to enter into the school, you must have failed the PSLE exam or have had difficulty continuing onto secondary school in Singapore. And this was our message to our students who, in the highly competitive Singapore, were often labeled “failures” or “rejects of the Singapore education system.” And for all those at school, our vision was so clear and we had clear strategies to really uplift these students, and they uplifted us at the same time – that was the beauty.
I had always associated this phrase with NorthLight School. And last Wednesday, Sara and I gave a short presentation to a teacher’s training school, called a “Normal”- Normal de Santiago Tianguistenco, I was sharing about NorthLight and shared this phrase with them. I realized this phrase applied to México as well. In midst of the violence that increases everyday, in midst of the 9000 failing schools that we’re working with, in the midst of the isolation many teachers feel in the rural schools, that’s where we must shine.
There are some people, teachers, academic authorities and politicians that keep looking at the difficulties, at the challenges, and all the reasons why we cannot, why change cannot happen. But in the dark nights, that’s where we got to ramp up our energy, reignite our spirits and shine.
I’ve been so blessed to be with this team of dreamers at EIMLE who are also clearly grounded in the reality of the dark night, but keep on dreaming, keep on fighting. It’s this team of people who really believe a change is possible, one student, one life at a time through relación tutora.