In a profound display of leadership skills, a kindergarten teacher in Monterrey’s La Estanzuela barrio led a group of young children through an epic Mexican drug battle, emerging from the far side safe, unfazed and craving for chocolate.
In a video which should be marketed world-wide for our political leaders, a Mexican kindergarten teacher took a group of small children on a journey they will remember for the rest of their lives.
As a gunfight erupted outside the school building, Marta Rivera was thrown into a situation of quick thinking. At stake were the lives of 15 pre-school students. Responding to the quick questions of what was going on, the video shows her even quicker decision-making ability, telling the children: “No, nothing’s happening, sweetheart, just put your little faces on the ground.”
The video, filmed from her Blackberry, shows how the 33 year-old teacher and mother of two continued guiding the children. “Just don’t lift your head, please.”
As the large-caliber gunfire continues in the background, the video shows the children equally as calm as their teacher, responding to her suggestions. Unseen in the video, Ms. Rivera suggests: “Let’s sing a song?” The children quickly respond yes.
With drug cartels continuing to reshape Mexico’s identity, innocent lives become victims. In the last four years, more than 30,000 people have been killed in the country’s drug war.
At play in Monterrey, a city once considered the country’s safest, is a mighty clash between Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, a former ally. For more than a year, violence has escalated in Monterrey due to their turf battle and control of the major distribution center. In a US-funded war on drugs, at least 60,000 guns have been confiscated in Mexico traceable back to US dealers, during the last four years alone.
On a security advisory team for teachers, Ms. Rivera filmed the schoolroom event which will undoubtedly become a part of school safety groups’ curriculum. Last year, Nuevo Leon’s Education Secretariat issued safety regulations for the state’s school teachers. “I made the video to have proof, since that’s what our supervisors who oversee the safety regulations asked us to do,” she said, EFE News reports.
“Okay, let’s sing,” Ms. Rivera continued in the video. Leading the children through the battle, she began singing: “Oh I know, if the raindrops were made of chocolate, I’d love to be there.”
In a stunning display of teamwork, the children join in. “Who wants chocolate? “ she asked and the kids enthusiastically respond: “I do!” Amid the chaos outside the room, she unabashedly asked the children to open their mouths for a taste. The children, wrapped in adoration of their leader, responded to her every request. The video should also be used for teachers worldwide, providing an example of the power of teaching.
Experts have praised Ms. Rivera, noting she demonstrated the importance of role models, staggering when considering the impact such people have on young minds. Growing old, we reflect on life-altering experiences in our young childhoods.
Nuevo Leon Governor Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz on Monday presented Ms. Rivera with an award of recognition,
In a classic teamwork environment, Ms. Rivera said the young children gave her the necessary strength. “I feel really proud, especially of the children. They gave me valor and the courage to act the way I did,” she said upon acceptance of the award, EFE News reports.
For the group of five and six year-old minds in Ms. Rivera’s class, a lesson in courage, calm and collected, pulsed through the video. “I was not looking to become famous or to get recognition, it just happened and I had to think fast to deal with reality,” Ms. Rivera said, according to EFE News.
In the wake of the gun battle, five more victims were added to the list. Fortunately, none of the school’s teachers or children were injured.