My kids....My heart

My kids....My heart

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Update 10.02.10 ~ Imagine Being a Teacher from India

For those of you who read the blog entry about my remarkable teacher friends from India the story did not end as we feared it would. Both teachers and their families did have to return to India for about one month, but at the last hour our federal government renewed their Visas. They were able to return to the United States just this past week. I am thrilled to announce that one friend returned to work at Conchos School on Friday, October 1st! My other friend, who is an amazing teacher with a beautiful and kind soul, took a job near Show Low, Arizona when the prospects of her returning to our district were incredibly bleak. We pray, that at this time next year, she will be teaching in a class at our school! Through prayers, strength, and an unwavering belief that this situation would work out for them ~ indeed it did. What an amazing story! (Thank you for asking Erica.)


Imagine for a moment, leaving everything and everyone you have ever known for a chance to teach American children. You board a plane for America, bringing with you only your desire to better your life and the lives of those depending on you back in your home country of India.

Imagine arriving to this country with no driver’s license, no home and being at the total mercy of strangers to get back and forth to your job every day. Imagine the gut wrenching pain you would feel after phone calls from your children back home asking when they’ll see you again. Their fate is out of your control. You just pray.

Imagine arriving to class on your first day of school and realizing that American children don’t appreciate the fact that it is an honor to be sitting in your classroom. In India only the extremely fortunate have the opportunity of obtaining an education. American children take it for granted and don’t always share with you, that yes indeed, they want to be there.

Imagine that nearly a year later your family is able to come to America. Imagine the pain in your six your old’s face and the fear she has now that you may leave her again. She’s afraid when you go into another room that there may be a door on the other side that allows you to escape. Yes, imagine that it takes a long time for a child to feel safe that you won’t ever leave her again. Imagine a dear lady befriending you, becoming your American Mom. Imagine hearing your children call her grandma. Imagine that her whole life now has become about making your family feel safe and secure in America. Imagine your own teenagers falling in love with America.

Imagine that over the course of three years, you have changed the lives of American children. You have taken their lives in a new direction. You have helped them to understand that like Indian children, American children, too, are fortunate to receive an education. They’ve come to love and appreciate your love and appreciation for education. Imagine that you are responsible for children falling in love with math and becoming excited about science. Some, indeed, may wish to become scientists!

Imagine over the course of those three years that both your parents die, first your father then exactly one year later – to the day - your mother. Imagine that you can not go home to their burials. Imagine the birth of a child and the death of a grandfather.

Now, I ask you to imagine that Monday, July 26, 2010 is the day you expect to return to school but on Thursday, July 22, you receive a letter that your American Visa will not be renewed. This is the fate of two amazing teachers, that I have worked with, laughed with and cried for over the last three years. They are two extraordinary women, with a love of teaching that runs so deep that it is the core of who they are; there is no doubt that they were put on this earth to teach.

*As I sit here trying to come up with an end to this story, I realize that perhaps I can not because the story is not over. I ask you, the reader, to take a moment to pray for these beautiful ladies. Perhaps the power of prayer will persuade those in control of their fate to make the right decision.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Back To School Time....

Mid July doesn’t mean back to school time to many people, but it always does to me. This will be the sixteenth time I will be a part of an amazing team of people welcoming beautiful little faces to a brand new school year. I arrived on the campus of Conchos School on August 24, 1994 - three days in to the school year. It may seem strange that I remember the exact date but I will never forget it. August 24th is my grandmother’s birthday and I am quite sure that she is the guiding force that led me to Conchos School.

Here I sit sixteen years later, readying myself for another fresh new start. The very best thing about working in the school environment is that every year it is the same and every year it is so different. In a way, it’s like getting a new job every year. This year, we will welcome a few new faces to our staff. I pray that they love our kids and community as if both were their very own. I hope that they chose the field of teaching because their hearts told them to. I trust that they believe they are difference makers because indeed they are.

Today is Friday, July 9th. It's hard to believe that it has been five weeks since I pulled out of the school parking lot with a huge smile plastered all over my face like I had a secret nobody else knew. Ahhh, beautiful summer break! I guess all good things really do come to an end.

Two more days and summer break will feel like ancient history. Soon enough our classrooms will be filled with laughter, loud voices, a little bit of drama, a whole bunch of beautiful little faces and, most importantly, our future.