Story of a teacher

Quote by Josefina Aldecoa

Quote by Josefina Aldecoa

Story of a teacher is the first novel of a trilogy of autobiographical content published in 1990, and written by the Spanish writer and pedagogue Josefina Aldecoa. Subsequent books are Women in black (1994) y The force of Destiny (1997). The initial text could be considered a response to the political discourse that emerged after the dictatorship in Spain.

In this play, The author talks about how to build a better educational system, since she considered that the methodology of the time was not secular enough. Being a story taken from reality, the discourse that lives behind it feels authentic and full of feeling.

About the context of Story of a teacher

Gabriela's degree

The plot of this story begins in 1923, when Gabriela, a young woman from Oviedo educated by her beloved father, receives her teacher's degree.. This dreamy lady feels proud and self-satisfied for having achieved her heart's desire. She will now be able to leave to teach in rural schools in Equatorial Guinea and Spain.

Transfers to practice your trade

Upon receipt of your degree, Gabriela is sent to teach in several towns, but she never stayed too long in any of them. Arriving in another rural area, a guide exhorts her to be careful, as the town could retaliate against her unorthodox way of teaching. However, the firmness of the young woman knows no reason.

First tricks against him

for being a foreigner, the teacher must reside in the house of a prestigious couple in town. The chosen home turns out to be that of Raimunda and Mr. Wensceslao. However, the mayor and the town priest disagree with Gabriela moving to this residence, especially because Wensceslao and she could create a very strong duo against the system. The young woman finds out about the trick by Genaro, one of her students.

Despite the claims and constant complaints, the protagonist does not give up. One of their first demands is to decorate the classroom with paint. But an uncooperative mayor doesn't give him the go-ahead. Even so, the teacher does not give up her work. Wensceslaus and Lucas —the village guide— help her with school supplies you need to do your job, which makes your stay much more enjoyable.

Stay with Maria

As he could not reside in Raimunda and Wensceslao's house, he sought refuge in María's house, the widow of the village blacksmith. The lone woman was friendly but a bit rough. On one occasion, a reluctant mother asks for help with her baby. Gabriela helps them and everything turns out very well. From that moment the rumor spreads that the teacher is a worthy member of her community. She then she begins to give classes to the women of the town.

Resistance pays off

The situation improves, but the criticism of the teacher does not stop. The detractors mean that Gabriela has no one else to talk to —except for Genaro and Mr. Wenscesla—. The young woman fights against a system without education, pigeonholed in religious teachings. However, the good-hearted characters will help her get ahead. Also, she will be able to implement a better way of living for everyone.

Main characters


Is the protagonist de Story of a teacher; is a sweet and understanding woman whose life goal is to teach. She has a character that does not bow down in the face of adversity, and for that reason she is admired by decent people around her. However, she is also haunted by characters who are satisfied with a mediocre lifestyle.

At some point in the plot Gabriela marries a man she doesn't love at all, but with whom she can build the family she always dreamed of.. Throughout her journey she learns a lot about education and about herself.


It is an old man who serves as a guide for the protagonist. He is a rich and wise man who likes to give Gabriela books. Likewise, he advises her on her journey. The man arrived in Equatorial Guinea to look for his father. However, when he returned home his mother had passed away.

Wensceslaus he employed Genaro's mother, and gossips say there was a romance between them. The lady's husband was infertile, so Genaro could be the son of the old landowner.


He is an educated boy, fluent in speech and very kind. He feels special affection for Gabriela, and is very interested in learning at school. His mother died, so he lives alone with his father, and helps him with his work.

Gabriel's father

This man is the adoration of the protagonist. He raised her to be a free but prudent woman. Everything that Gabriela is and knows at the beginning of the story she owes to him. At some point in the story, he must go to pick up the young woman at her new ranch, because she becomes seriously ill. The affection she feels for her daughter is tender and genuine.

About the author, Josefina Rodríguez Álvarez

Josephine Aldecoa

Josephine Aldecoa

Josefina Rodríguez Álvarez was born in 1926, in La Robla, León, Spain. It was a writer and pedagogue recognized for her texts referring to the educational system of her time. Rodríguez Álvarez was also the creator and director of Colegio Estilo. The teacher was married to the writer Ignacio Aldecoa, whose last name she adopted after he died in 1969.

Coming from a family of educators, the writer was passionate about literature and educational reform. She moved to Madrid in 1994. In that city he studied Philosophy and letters. In addition, she has a doctorate in pedagogy. For the author, the greatest of her works was having founded the Colegio Estilo in the El Viso area. Through this institution —inspired by the educational ideas of Krausism—, she was able to teach outside the doctrine of the time.

At the time The doctor stated the following: «I wanted something very humanistic, giving a lot of importance to literature, letters, art; a school that was very culturally refined, very free and that did not talk about religion, things that were unthinkable at the time in most of the centers of the country».

In 1961 he published a series of short stories entitled To nowhere. From then on he wrote other reference works in the world of education. In addition, in 2003 she won the Castilla y León Prize for Letters.

Other works by Josefina Aldecoa

  • child's art (1960);
  • children of war (1983);
  • the creeper (1984);
  • because we were young (1986);
  • The orchard (1988);
  • Story for Susan (1988);
  • Ignacio Aldecoa in his paradise (1996);
  • confessions of a grandmother (1998);
  • pinko and his dog (1998);
  • The best (1998);
  • Rebellion (1999);
  • The Challenge (2000)

The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.