Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mrs. Brown's 4th Grade Class

I left work a little early today to visit Dori in her classroom. The unannounced trek was a big surprise to my girl. But her hug was as welcoming as any she's ever given me.

What I saw in the course of an hour-and-a-half was inspiring. Dori's fourth-graders were vibrant and well-mannered. They have a great sense of humor and are well spoken. They look you in the eye, smile and answer your questions.

Many are first generation Hispanic children who are eager to succeed. One wants to be a doctor; another wants to go to Harvard; and two young ladies have told Dori she's the best teacher they've ever had, among several flattering comments.

As awesome as this was, the best part was watching Dori. She's new at this teaching thing, to be sure. I arrived at the end of the school day, a hectic time. Despite the quick pace, Dori was more focused than anything. She had her students moving, in the right lines and places, and did it smoothly. They listen to her. They recognize, like our kids and I, that Dori is a leader.

She was gracious to fellow teachers, who impressed me. The school was clean, which isn't always the case in our system, and the staff was friendly. Like most places, you know a good place from a bad place. Dori is in a good place.

Right now, she's at the local university, working on earning her master's in education. Wednesdays and Thursdays are busy around here. My Mr. Mom hat, which I wear every day at different times, is on most of these days.

Whenever I think it's tough, all I have to do is harken back to two years ago when Dori's life was in serious jeopardy. It's why she doesn't complain about the hours, and why I won't either. We know plenty of people who are striving to be in our shoes. And we're praying for each of them.

That's the latest from our outpost. We wind down in an hour or so, and it all starts again at 5 in the morning.

For me, it will actually get going a little sooner. My runs are getting longer and earlier. I ran six on Labor Day at Percy Warner Park, three yesterday with Pepper, and seven at 4:45 this morning. Dori will be out of town this weekend, so I won't be able to join Team Chicago for their 19-miler. Instead, I'm doing longer intermediate runs to get the mileage.

1 comment:

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