Thursday, October 8, 2009

it's that important

We were confused why another parent was waiting outside our door with her daughter- her conference was not for another 45 minutes and typically parents are running late- not early. We watched her walk slowly into our classroom, her hand on her full, expectant belly. She turned to her 6 year old daughter with instructions to tell us why she was early- she had to go to the Dr's today- to maybe have the baby- so she could not come at the planned time. Was now OK?

We told her we could meet later- no big deal- to go, take care of herself and her baby, our conference about life in first grade could wait.

She looked confused for a moment, and hurt, and through her six year old daughter's translations we learned she'd come because she thought this was very important.

So important that she lowered herself into the tiny blue first grade chair, trying to make herself comfortable.

Her daughter listened carefully to our English remarks and then carefully choose her Spanish words to tell her mother. Her mother's eyes grew wide with pride as she listened to her daughter translate the wonderful things her daughter is doing in school. "I'm so proud of you" she almost whispered between the pauses.

I could feel the tears welling up in my own eyes- this mom who thought our conference was so important that she needed to walk to the school on the very day she may have a baby.

Then she turned to her daughter with another question to translate, "Does she sit quietly, and listen, and do her work, and work hard?"

Her daughter's face scrunched up so mom repeated her question. The girl looked at her mother and then at us- did she really have to translate that? Was she going to translate an honest answer? Before she could go through the moral contemplation in her head we jumped in (surprisingly having understood enough Spanish to know what mom was asking), "yes! she listens, she does her job and she works hard!"

The young translator grinned with pride and her mother turned and once again said, "I am so proud of you."

I love my school. I love that this little six year old girl will never doubt the importance of school.


mego said...

Frame this one, and post it in the teachers' lounge!
What a great post! Thanks for capturing the moment and sharing it. So many teachers get so nervous for conferences and overlook the parent's need for a connection. Stories like this remind us of the need for communication. Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca said...

I am crying. I LOVED this story! Thank you for sharing it

MNicoleM said...

This is why we do what we do, right? Fantastic story, thank you for sharing!!!

Josie said...

You have me in tears. Thanks for sharing. I love our school, too.