In this very old, and slightly blurry photo, you see my middle daughter Maya playing with her day care class. The reason it is relevant is where she was. I had just been hired to teach my first ESL class at a community center. My coordinator, who is also my mentor and a very dear friend, allowed me to take Maya to the day care class provided for students. So my daughter and her younger sister, Samantha, went to teach with me. Now fast forward to 2013, and my new activity.
Maya, now a grown woman, just got her first permanent job at the Army Navy Academy. Doesn’t she look happy?
Then the news got even better. After a very short time, she was promoted to International Student Services Director. Army Navy loves her as much as we do. As part of her new responsibilities, she needed to find tutors for some cadets who are struggling with English. I was thrilled to volunteer. My profession has been so good to me and given me so many opportunities. I want to give back. I also loved the idea of helping my Maya. So last Thursday, I went to my first tutoring session. My student is a 15-year old basketball phenom from the Dominican Republic. He is over 6-feet tall and definitely feeling lost, so far away from family and country. We connected immediately, and the half-hour session seemed to fly by.
I was tutoring in Maya’s classroom/office, and I couldn’t help but notice how professional she was in her new role. Students, faculty and administrators came to talk with her, and she was comfortable and competent. I was so proud.
As I walked to my car, I thought about the time long ago when I brought Maya to teach with me. Yes, it is the full circle of life, and I feel so honored to be in her classroom now.