I am a second grade teacher, so many people assume that I am not doing any school work in the summer. It’s hard to explain if you are not a teacher, but there are few times when I am actually not thinking about school. I wonder how my students are doing in the summer: Are they getting enough to eat? Are they having some fun? Are the students in summer school doing well? Are the others reading – at all?
Last Saturday, I went with my family to the Madison Farmer’s Market on the capital square. All the way around the square, we saw summer vegetables for sale – beans, lettuces, tomatoes, kale, radishes, pea pods as well as honey, organic meat, flowers, herbs, and lots and lots of cheese.
Then, at one booth I saw one of my Hmong students, her grandma, and her grandpa selling vegetables. Older brother, who was my student two years ago,was fast asleep in one of those fold up chairs. I assume he was tired from getting up very early to be at the market.
Without any hesitation, my student jumped up from her chair, threw down her dollar bills she had been holding in her lap, and gave me the biggest hug.
“So good to see you!”, she said.
We talked about how her summer was going. I asked about her job helping at the market with her grandparents. She said her mom and dad were also selling vegetables at a different market. I told her to say hello to her brother when he woke up.
I asked to buy some pea pods.
Grandma smiled at me, bagged up a pile of peas and said, “Teacher? For you, free.”