Kindness from a classroom in Brazil

Posted 15th July 2018

My name is Bruno Rafael Paiva. I live in Ceará State of Brazil and this is my story.

It's been almost four years since my family struggles to help afford to put my sister study medicine. A course that in Brazil is very difficult to pass. We have sacrificed a lot. In our house there is no more sofa, the refrigerator is falling apart and my mattress is on the floor.

As a music teacher myself, I went to work in a nearby city school as an art teacher. But I never imagined what was waiting for me there. I went to cover a license of another teacher, so my contract was for two months with a chance of being renewed. But the little money I had was not able to keep me in town. I slept at school, I had lunch at school and a lot of help I received from school, but my situation began to sink when after two months with much help from several people, I discovered that I was not going to receive my salary yet and would have to work another month.

I saw it all collapse, everything went black. All the people who could have helped me, had helped me. I could not see salvation. The students knew that I slept in school, but then they learned of my situation too and that I was probably going to leave school. Without knowing anything, without telling anyone. They got together and held a raffle. They sold all the raffle tickets in just four days and raised R$400.

Not only did they raise this money, they also made a dynamic surprise for me. When I walked to the classroom believing it to be another normal school day, there was a message stuck on the door inviting me to “come in and read.”

There was a message on every chair and table in the classroom. I read notes like: “We know we're messy but that's not all,” “We want to apologize, for all our talking,” “Knowing your situation we decided to join together, for you know how to be a friend,” “We hope you like it! With much affection, the First Edification.”

When I reached my desk, there was a small box. A box with R$400 (equivalent to AU$130) to help me stay another month in school so I would not leave.

When I saw that, I was caught. I was paralyzed, not believing, I started to get nervous, to tremble. No one had ever done it for me. No student. I really did not believe it. And I ended up crying in front of the whole room.

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It was the most exciting day I have ever had. I had the gift of feeling protected by my own students. They wept also, and in the end they all stood up and embraced me.

In Brazil, I see many videos of students disrespecting and even attacking teachers. When I this happened to me, I could not keep it to myself. My happiness was strong and overwhelming. I felt compelled to share it with friends and family so I posted it on my Facebook.

Today with more than 6 million visualisations, the video is known all over Brazil and is running the world.

I could not be gifted with greater honor than knowing that thousands of people across the globe are coming back to believing in love for others in the importance of affection thanks to what I have experienced.

Thankfulness completes me.

Thank you all. To be a teacher is to love what you do. It is building in unity and achieving exciting results together.

That love always prevails.

Bruno Rafael Paiva
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