Invited to a student’s birthday partyMarch 21, 2007 at 10:54 pm | Posted in dreams, education, hope, life, schools, teachers | 1 Comment
A mother came up to me today and, through an interpreter, tearfully poured out her hopes and dreams for her son, my student. He is her only child. She is divorced from his father, working three jobs to raise her son. She only gets to see him a few minutes each day, but she will try very hard to come see me more often to keep an eye on his education. She then handed me an invitation, purchased from the 99cent Store, to his birthday party this Saturday.
I cannot wait to go! I will not understand a word of the Spanish that they will speak, but I’ll be there with a brightly wrapped present to give to my student who carries the whole future of his family on his tiny shoulders.
Every day, he wakes himself up, dresses himself, and walks himself to school early so that he can eat the school breakfast. Everyday, he dutifully sits through my lessons, though much of it is over his head because he barely speaks English. He gets excited during Math because there, he can show how successful he is. At lunch time, he asks if he can return to the classroom to spend time with me and I always feel terrible when I have to turn him away if I have errands to run. Afterschool, he spends the rest of his day with his babysitter, an elderly woman who doesn’t speak any English either and who has far too many other children to look after. At night, he tucks himself in. If he was lucky, he got to see his mother before he falls asleep.
It is a lonely life for a boy who loves his mother dearly and whose mother loves him dearly.
I ask you, can YOU carry the whole burden of your family’s happiness on your adult shoulders? My students do it every day. I am humbled by the knowledge that they entrust ME with their education.