Privilege

I’d consider my biggest privilege in life being able to work with kids. Today, I was watching Top Chef or something, and a girl said, “I didn’t realize I liked kids until I had my daughter.” Well, I like kids…a lot. They’re fun and life giving (most of the time, but sometimes they’re life sucking–I’ve told my excellent assistant numerous times this year that I won’t be able to do this for the next 30 years of my career). I consider being an educator an honor. In a break down earlier this week, my mom nearly had a heart attack when I said, “I just can’t do this anymore!” “This” was not being a teacher, “this” was working at my wealthy school. I miss the disparity and the injustice. I have reached the point in the year (6 weeks left) when it is harder to convince myself that all kids need good teachers when one kid jets to Disney World for two weeks and the rest of them are buying expensive costumes for the play. So I do spend a lot of time dreaming of the school I’d like to open or the Children’s Home my church is opening south of here. I do like my job…but…6 weeks left.

Anyways, between Friday and Saturday I spent time with lots of different kids. And I have realized that it is an honor to work with all of them. Some examples…

Thursday was a holiday here. All Saints Day, or as it is known in Mexico, Day of the Dead. Two years ago, I went with Ronald and his family to visit his dad’s grave. It was an incredible cultural experience, and I couldn’t bear not to do something at a first grade level to commemorate the day. We looked at a slide show of pictures around cemeteries in Lima and talked about remembering important people in our lives (sometimes important people are dead, but sometimes they’re alive). This sweet girl wrote about me. Another girl wrote about her dad because he brings money for her mom, and another boy wrote about a deceased relative and drew a pictures of a cemetery. It’s fascinating their individual interpretations.

Another privilege is spending time with my friends’ kids. Two of my closest friends here had babies this year, and I am friends with another first grade teacher who has two adorable toe-heads (their half Peruvian and half Aussie). This is Marcelito, reliving his fond memories of Halloween Friday night. How did he know that Elmo was my favorite?

I cannot get through a blog post without talking about two of the most beautiful children alive who I have loved for the past 2+ years. Fernando and Cielo are two of my sobrinos from Huaycán, and I will always love them with my whole heart. It has been a privilege to know them throughout the years–see Lolo learn how to walk and talk, and see Feddy go from a crazy, travieso to an adorable five year old. These kids…THEY remind me why I love working with kids the most.

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