César Bona: “Teaching with energy means accepting that all changes begin with us”

Curiosity, imagination, creativity, and enthusiasm are the building blocks of scientific thought. They are also what all children, as children, have in common, or so says César Bona, a primary school teacher who holds a Bachelor in English. César has been known as “the best teacher in Spain” since he became a Global Teacher Prize finalist in 2014. These are the qualities every teacher should tap in the classroom: “We are educating social beings, and it is crucial to listen to them, to share our experiences with them, and to learn from them.” César stresses that “We must never forget the essence of childhood.”

We spoke with César Bona about these and other subjects. Next Wednesday, October 18th, César will take part in the “Teaching with energy” colloquium during the Science and Energy Week. This initiative, driven by Repsol and Fundación Repsol, will take place between October 16th and 21st in Puertollano, with the aim of spreading scientific knowledge and strengthening the Company’s commitment to education.

Science and education go hand in hand. During his talk, Bona will share with participants his opinion about the challenges education faces  today: “If we want young people to be prepared for change, we are the ones who need to innovate first. This doesn’t mean breaking with everything that’s been done in the past, but evolving,” the teacher explains. Another challenge we face is“working as a team, that is to say, teachers, families, and children. We teachers have the obligation of working as a team, not only with other teachers, but also with families, as working together is the way to bring the best out of children.”

“If we want children to be prepared for change, we are the ones who need to innovate first” César Bona

César also tells us that teaching with energy means “accepting that any change we want to see must begin with us; we can’t expect change to come from without. To build a better world, we have to give our best every day, no matter what we do. The attitudes needed to achieve this, such as respect for ourselves, others, the environment, and differences, should be taught at every school. Ultimately, the expression ‘resistance to change’ should never be associated with education.”

Offering a program replete with workshops, talks, exhibitions, and shows, the event at Puertollano aims to bring science and energy closer to everyone, not only primary, secondary, bachillerato, and vocational program students, but also parents and teachers, seeking to encourage the participation of the whole family. This is much in keeping with how César Bona conceives his work as teacher: “Together we are stronger. Activities aimed only at teachers are fine, as are activities aimed only at children or their parents. But activities like these, where we all come together, that’s where we should be heading. We must share our experiences and understand that our point of view has something to contribute to others. These initiatives could grow even more, because education, society, the family, and teachers are all part of an indivisible whole.”

“Activities that encourage collaboration among families, children, and teachers, that’s where we should be heading. Together we’re stronger,” the teacher explains.

For César, being nominated for the Global Teacher Prize has brought “an opportunity to learn many things, to visit schools and other educational institutions and learn a lot from them. I feel fortunate to have had this experience. These activities are an invitation to think. The key word in what we do is “perspective,” because, even though what we’re doing now isn’t bad, we can take a step forward to improve and change the path we’ve always followed. It is also a privilege to participate in activities like these and have the opportunity to listen to what children and their families have to say. The perspective I get from this is wonderful.” With this mentality, there is no doubt that, during the week of activities, participants will expand not only their knowledge of science and energy, but also about the new forms of teaching that are taking shape today. And, who knows, we may have the opportunity to discover new César Bonas who are also passionately committed to teaching with energy.

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