Today I put in a 13 hour day for free, but boy was it worth it. It is amazing to see how much the students in my class have progressed. But the most amazing part....
How involved all the parents are. Especially those from immigrant families or single parent families. They all have so little and are so willing to give and give to their children. They want them to have everything. One particular mother sticks out in my mind: She has 7 children. One is a sophomore in high school and has just started AP classes. They moved to America about 5 years ago not knowing any English and she has worked so hard to provide a superior education to her children. She reads with them every night, she practices math with them, and disciplines them. She constantly stops by for visits with the teachers or calls to check in. Imagine taking care of 7 children, have limited communication ability, and still being that involved in their schooling. If I ever become a mother, I'd be happy if I was half as patient and motivated at she is. And if I can't be that kind of mother, then I don't want to be one at all.
As I listed to our EL teacher speak with another students father in Spanish (and tried to use my limited knowledge of the language) I could sense his extreme emotion. I could feel his love for his son and the passion behind his words as we told him about his sons extreme reading progress.
I also got to start one of the conferences out by talking about one girls reading growth and how it has allowed her to start in a new reading group with me. It was scary, but I can't wait to do my own full conference someday.
And so, my 13 hour day was long. But it went much quicker than I thought and I'm happy I was there.