I had a profoundly emotional moment in class last week which brought me to tears and then suddenly a flush of embarrassment.
We had been live on VoicEd Radio with Stephen Hurley and my students in grade 10 Academic English were being interviewed. My mother in Goderich, and my husband at home had promised to listen in.
I had been moving about the room trying to encourage students to work through the hashtags for the Twitter chat, to respond to the five questions that I had timed to be released every 10 minutes, and ensuring as many students as possible could share their voices on the radio.
Of course, I was anxious and somewhat fearful, because I’d never done this before. It was a new experience and I wasn’t quite sure about the outcome. It was very public, and I felt very exposed.
But the hour passed fairly smoothly, and many students were engaged and participating. Some were excited and willing to share their thoughts on live radio. I could feel my heart swell whenever they got up to the microphone and I wanted to reach out and support them, but didn’t as they made their way through the questions from the host with thoughtfulness and honesty.
And as we signed off, a text from my mother came in. I raised my voice to share the text, and then was suddenly overcome by a wave of emotion. I paused and broke. Tears flowed and my peer tutor stepped forward to read the text message:
“I can understand why you love your job. Those young people are SO worth caring about.”
After a few gentle hugs from the students, I composed myself and the ebb of embarrassment appeared. It hung around for several hours and into the next day, until this day, Mother’s Day, I realized what it was.
It was the moment of parental recognition that said, “I understand you.” This Mother’s Day I’m reminding myself of this power to hold and validate the worth of our children.