This post is a bit delayed, but I felt it was important enough to write. We held conference day not that long ago. I usually dread this day. The parents you need to see never show up, and the ones you do not need to see always come. I work in a low income school, so getting anyone to come is a blessing. Most of my conferences needed a translator which made me regret my inability to speak Spanish fluently.
I stayed pretty grumpy for most of the day, until one little boy's mom came in. She is a single mom, only 23, and moved here for a fresh start for her and her son. She speaks English remarkably well, and lives her life for her child. I was amazed at her strength, determination, and her willingness to press even further, despite the fact that her son is doing great. I felt her struggles for finding a babysitter, and working long hours without much pay. It was evident through our conversation that she is not able to interact with other adults very often. She viewed me as her child's caregiver, almost like a parent when she can not be there. Her admiration and compliments took me off guard. There were so many words not verbally spoken. Most of our communication was done through our eyes.
At the end of the meeting, she got up and gave me a long hug. She thanked me for being such a good teacher, and then walked out the door. Thankfully I had a few minutes to pull myself together after that meeting. In her heart, she feels weak, and stretched to her fullest capacity. But, in her, I saw a wildfire of strength. That hug was what she needed, but little did she know how much I needed it too.