It was important because I remember one of those home visits when my mother asked Mrs. Gutierrez
dream for Raul
mother replied that she
just wanted him to graduate from high school because no one in their entire family had ever made it that far.
went on to complain to my mother that she
was afraid that Raul
would never graduate because he
spent most of his
time in class drawing!
My mother quickly informed Mrs. Gutierrez
that folks could make a living drawing by being cartoonists for newspapers, or even drawing homes as architects.
Then, my mom set out to help the young man visualize his
Because we were young, school would let out early.
Consequently, my sister and I would be allowed to wait in the back of our mother's classroom (doing our homework) while she
finished out her
I remember vividly how she
called children to perform activities that identified their strengths.
At her funeral, many of my mother's former students as well as members of the community came to express their condolences; however, none was so powerful as the well-dressed man named Raul Gutierrez, who had indeed become an architect.
Teachers have power to speak to us in life-affirming ways.
Those who are paid to care for our children are critically important to their development.
Yet, no teacher can ever be as important to a child as her
first teacher, a parent.
It was only because Mrs. Gutierrez
had a dream for her
son that my mom was empowered to help her
son realize that dream and even more possibilities.