Quito, April 30, 2019
"Let's motivate our students to look further, that the classes go beyond the four walls"
This is the message offered by Pablo Tenesaca, teacher of the Rosa de Jesús Cordero Private Educational Unit, who became, on April 16, the absolute winner of the XI National Contest of Educational Excellence, thanks to the project "Educating with science of Space. Astronomy and Astrophysics ".
Learn more about this Azuayan teacher who dared to innovate in his work and is now considered by FIDAL as the best teacher in Ecuador.
How did your teaching career start?
My passion for teaching started when I was 18 years old. I was presented with the opportunity to work as a chess teacher for children and young people, for some years in different institutions; At the same time, he leveled the eighth grade in mathematics at the Rosa de Jesús Cordero Private Educational Unit. After a while I became a full professor of Physics at the same institution and, approximately 12 years ago, I began with the creation of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. I have dedicated myself to teaching for 22 years.
What does it mean to you to be a teacher?
For me, being a teacher is a unique opportunity that arose in my life, where I can share what I modestly know, but also learn every day from my classmates and students.
It is a work of great responsibility, sacrifice, but with great joys. It is a vocation that I was able to discover and, from that moment, I have enjoyed what I love; therefore, I do not consider it a job but a service that I can render to those in need.
Every school year I am excited, especially with the students who start the Baccalaureate, since for the first time they have the subject of Physics and the extracurricular classes of Astronomy and Astrophysics. When I talk about how amazing the universe is, about its mysteries and all the phenomena that surround us, the students attend with great emotion, and it is the moment in which I can motivate them and ignite that little flame of curiosity that, perhaps at some point, wake up that scientist who's been asleep.
How was the idea born and what is the project "Educating with Space Sciences. Astronomy and Astrophysics" about, with which you became the national winner of the Educational Excellence Contest?
My project was created in order to motivate the study of science through Astronomy and Astrophysics, as well as to recognize the significant role that women have in science. Promotes research, capacity development through experimentation and development of activities for the benefit of the educational community and Ecuadorian society.
As it is an innovative project in our country, it was necessary to implement a laboratory, currently known as the Catalinas Cuenca Astronomical Sciences Center (CCACC), where an appropriate environment is established for the students in their extracurricular activities to develop their investigative skills .
The idea came up with the aim of solving the loss of interest of our young women in science. A vast majority of students describe the content of science classes as boring, difficult, or out of touch with their own reality. In addition, to this is added a society full of prejudices and stereotypes that prevents the interest and commitment to science in women from being placed in a position of equality with men.
The vision I have for the future is that my project can be replicated throughout the national territory and that it serves to encourage and encourage all girls and young people to find and express without fear that scientist that they carry within.
What comment does your experience in the Educational Excellence Contest deserve?
It was a unique and motivating experience, but at the same time one of great responsibility. Meeting quality teachers was enriching not only academically but also humanly. The conferences we were able to attend were of quality and I was able to take advantage of them to apply them to my students. Knowing about an entity like the FIDAL Foundation, which rewards teaching work, gave me a hopeful picture where I am clear that work is recognized and teachers are valued.
What projects will come next?
At the moment I am working on a very interesting project whose main objective is scientific dissemination, which I hope to be able to finish with my students for next school year.
What message would you give to the teachers of the country and Latin America to contribute significantly to education?
The message that I could modestly share with my colleagues is that they do not give up in the face of bad times, there is always a point where our work will bear the expected fruits and that the passion for teaching never wanes because we are the forgers of the present societies and future.
Let's motivate our students to look further, that the classes go beyond the four walls, that we have a great laboratory to experiment and learn called the Universe.