Inspirational teachers to the emergency health — Observatory of Educational Innovation


The Undersecretary of Prevention and Promotion of Health of Mexico, Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez, has become one of the leading public figures of the country. Mostly it has placed before the people as a true leader (a “professor inspiring” as we call it in the Tec de Monterrey this type of teachers), coming to fill a vacuum of reliable information that was beginning to be urgent.

To use the metaphor of “teacher inspirational” is not arbitrary. In fact, the analogy with society/school is amenable to be extended and, before the crisis of the coronavirus, today we can imagine the whole society as two complementary institutions: a large health centre and other great educational center (each one with its sources of supply of all kinds of resources). The first, we know why. The image of the country as a place of learning, in contrast, is novel. We can understand if we describe the dimensions of what can be a real institution like this: space of ferment of knowledge and action, where they all interact, inquire, learn, teach, disagree, approve, and prepare to implement actions, all under the general direction of a leader knowledgeable, and inspiring, and the coordination of teachers, each one according to their own style, leading to small groups of learners.

In fact, if ―as said above― we conceive of both institutions as complementary (health/education), the image that best illustrate what we are living is that of a school of public health, whose students ―after a learning phase of the theoretical― carried out the essential part of their training in community practice; in this case, that practice is first to perform actions of self-care as a way to prevent the spread of the virus in the environment. Later I will talk about the five measures that the World Health Organization is promoting (we can consider to the WHO as the Director General of the great school which now has become the world); at this time I will concentrate on the case of Mexico, and in which I said that it has become a teacher inspiring a good part of the population.

As I say, Gatell meets the necessary characteristics of a teacher of this kind, worthy of admiration and follow-up. First: it’s convenient, comes at the right time. A leader responds to a need. In the school, the teacher inspiring is the one who can put all your attention on what the disciple required (usually required in an unconscious way: the disciple is usually the one who least know what you need; as says Philippe Meirieu in his book In school todaythis is part of their discipleship; however, when you offer what you are looking for, identifies it immediately, and shows a lot of rejection if you want to give cat for hare).

I think that, before the health emergency of the coronavirus, the mexicans we need to ―in fact, we are urged― that of a leader of this type, we talk of how compelling and coherent. Gatell does. Without doubt, the governmental apparatus, and leaders who support it favor of the that the information conveyed is reliable (Dr. Julio Frenk, the former secretary of Health of Mexico and today the rector of the University of Miami, has spoken in recent days of him as a person with an outstanding track record and a very solid). But on the whole the same Gatell is shown as someone that is consistent with the concern that he said to have by others: listen, show understanding, respond: in dialogue with his “pupils”, so to speak. Gives the full impression of being someone responsible, and with knowledge, caring and respect. It is exemplary. Exemplary in moments in which the way to wash your hands you need an example.

All of these personality traits have proved to be the charm of many mexican and mexican, they begin to trust in him and to make viral your image in the social networks, with that kind of infatuation that usually come to the true teacher; as we all know, if that feeling is not extralimita may be beneficial, especially in hours like these that you should not question the lessons but learn them from memory and execute them in the daily test.

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