I love this memory from my first year as a teacher. This is just one of many moments when I learned from my students and their families. 

They immigrated from Mexico
So their sons and daughters, my students
Could be educated
By someone with a degree
From the U.S.

Families prepared a meal
They want to show appreciation to los miestros

Gracias fills the room
My plate is full.

Hungry from teaching
I pick up a tamale
But a mixture of nos and giggles
Stop the tamale
Inches from my mouth

A brown hand
Warm from cooking
Takes the tamale from me

Without words
But with a smile
She peels back the husk
Showing me the inside
Showing me what I should eat
Educating me.

My ignorance makes me blush
But their smiles and hugs and laughter
Make me comfortable again.

Somehow earning my college degree
Never included a lesson on how to eat tamales
The mother who never finished high school
Educated me.

I went to receive thanks
And left feeling thankful.


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