Thursday, October 6, 2016

Da Nada

I admit that I was a little cranky this afternoon as I waited well after my contract hours for my first conference of the year. The halls were deserted and the light from the sinking sun was slanting into the west-facing windows when my student and her mom tapped on the door.

The fact is, teachers often suffer from a lack of professional respect. If I can't find a convenient time within the office hours of my doctor, lawyer, accountant, or dog groomer that works with the hours of my job, then I must take time off. If it's important, then I do. But teachers are often not afforded the same professional courtesy. We are frequently guilted into over-committing our own time because it is what's best for the students. And sometimes it undeniably is, but other times it's just a matter of your convenience over mine.

So anyway, there I was tonight, guiding an extremely poised 12-year-old as she explained her grades, study skills self-evaluation, academic goals, and community service interests to her mom, switching back and forth between Spanish and English for our benefit. All I did was answer some questions, encourage the student to stay after school for some math help, and compliment her on her achievements so far.

When the student got to the end of her checklist, the part that says Thank your parents for coming, she turned to her mother and said, "Gracias Mami!" And then she turned to me and said, "Thank-you for staying after school."

"You're welcome," I answered, and I really meant it.

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