Francesc Nogales: “Some of us are not satisfied with teaching like 25 years ago”

How was the award received at the school and, above all, by the students? How was the first day as Best teacher in Spain [por ayer]?

It was a normal day, although the children were nervous and in the morning they told me that they had seen me on TV and on the front page of the newspaper. For them it is very special. Apart from that, we have made a regular class, which is the important thing. You have to remain yourself and it is essential to always have your feet on the ground even if your head is in the clouds.

Why do you think your work has been highlighted at the state level?

Because of the importance of families, because it would not be possible if they had not nominated me. But I am not better than anyone; there are many teachers and I am not the best in Spain. There are many teachers who, like me, leave their souls day by day in their classes and look for a way for their students to learn in an optimal way. In the end, my work is not recognized, but that of all teachers who are not satisfied with giving the class as they gave it to us 25 years ago.

Everyone has an opinion and there is a lot of talk, criticism and debate: What can we say is the level of education in Spain?

There has been a lot of criticism for the law changes. It is true that there have been many and some little justified, but the important thing is not that, but there are teachers who have spent 25 years and continue to teach the class exactly the same as the first day. So what have these law changes been for? Many times, not at all, because what makes the difference is the teacher. For this reason, I believe that education in Spain is much better than we think thanks to the work of the teachers, we are the ones who hold the sail and the mast so that the ship does not sink. There is talk that education is fatal and negative messages are launched, but it is time to begin to realize the positive things: there is an incredible “raw material”, we have a group of teachers who are worth gold … and that there is to put it in value.

He comments that some legislative changes in Education have not been justified. Now is it time for a new law? Will Lomloe be an impetus for change in classrooms?

It can help or favor the implementation of a little more active methodologies. For me, the objective of a law is that students leave more prepared for the future and the way to achieve this is to provide them with all the skills and abilities. If the law encourages that, great, and if it lowers the ratios, great. If in the end the law says to the teacher “do what you can”, for that a new one is not needed.

And what about teachers who don’t accept some changes? For example, there is much debate with the organization by areas —with grouped subjects—, especially in Secondary.

I don’t think you have to jump into a totally innovative methodology. In the end, we need to maintain the positive of a more traditional or classical methodology, and also that of a more innovative one, and live the two together. We have students for whom a master class works very well, but for others not … We have to create that learning “landscape” in which I can offer a student digital activities; in addition to manipulative to strengthen that learning. If we achieve that – which is difficult and requires a lot of balance – we will be on the right track. In addition, we must rely on the strengths of each teacher, that is why I advocate that there are varied teachers in schools, and training.

You have talked about the students and wanted to ask them about their level: Is it true that they know less and less and are less required of them?

In that sense, I ask a question: if we took students from 25 years ago and asked them to speak in public before 500 people, would they be capable? Because mine do, today [por ayer] They have done it, through a videoconference, and they have spoken in front of the screen, but they knew how many people saw them. Maybe they learn less content and, obviously, they won’t know the list of the Goth kings, but beware! My parents didn’t know it either … Sometimes there are myths that we have to start to remove; It is wonderful that they learn certain skills, because the content can be found on Google: the question is that they know how to search.

It is said that there is a teacher who marks for life. Bearing in mind that we spent at least 13 years in the educational system … Shouldn’t there be more teachers that we remember fondly?

Surely, but I always say that it is not so much the teacher – that there were also – but the students who have marked me. Teachers also have incredible footprints that students leave us. I remember Azucena, Manuel in a wonderful way … They are children who, in some way, have also taught me.

And how would you like to be remembered by your students?

Ufff [Ríe]. I think they will remember me as the crazy ‘teacher’ who did crazy things in class … Now students write to me and say: “I already knew 15 years ago that you were the best ‘teacher’ in Spain” or “I went to class happy because I knew you were at school. ” These connections are because there is emotional learning and because what I teach them is linked to a positive experience; and they know that I trusted them. These things show you that what you do is positive.

And what is wrong for some children to see going to school as boring or a burden and do not want or do not like it?

Many things fail, but I assume that the first one who should not be bored at school is the teacher; if so, bad way. The first who has to have fun is the teacher and teach in such a way that each situation involves a little challenge; and get closer to the reality of the students with whom it is more difficult to connect. When education is individualized in this way, the student feels important. Motivation also appears when they see that what they do is important to their family.

Going to school with joy can lead to criticism from haters and other teachers, but they cannot accuse you of being a “guru” far removed from the reality of the classroom … You are in class and you show that it is possible, right ?

Yes of course! I don’t consider myself a guru or influencer, but I encourage teachers to “come out of the closet”, in the sense of telling what works for them in the classroom. If an activity is a success and the students are delighted and learn, the good experience must be shared. So other teachers, if they want or have the will, can do it. It is not about selling smoke.


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