A teacher wishes that parents would read Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Mother Goose, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, The Monkey King, Peabody Winston’s Front Porch Tales, and maybe some Harry Potter to the children before they hit the door for pre-K or Kindergarten. A teacher dreams that they would have taken their kid to museums, movies with morals, and spent a limited time watching PBS kids with Barney, Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. A teacher sighs and hopes the kid went to parks, swam in the ocean or pools, hiked in bamboo forests, played a musical instrument, participated in a sport, learned another language, travelled to the place of her ancestors in China and Arizona. The teacher thinks how wonderful it would be if the parents taught and coached their child, then provided chances to do martial arts, piano, theatre, art, tennis, viola, and let the child surf with doctors and friends on some borrowed boards. A teacher prays that parents would teach right from wrong, and show the child what manners are.
So in walked the child with the Chinese mother and the Swedish desert transplant father. She grew up with a mother that was a doctor/educator/business woman, and a father who was a teacher/coach/soldier(disguised as a writer with dual degrees of TB(tennis bum) & BB(beach bum) from the University of Oahu).
The child had seen the Grand Canyon, Shanghai, the teaching hospital where mommy, grandma and the 12 generations of Chinese doctors from the family had worked, taught and attended. There were trips to Sedona, Disneyland, Seaworld, San Diego Zoo, Desert Museum, Reid Park Zoo, Phoenix Zoo, Prescott Zoo, Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, Seattle Aquarium, Saguaro National Park, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Stanford, and Loyola Marymount. She had been to Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Flagstaff, Sedona, Prescott, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Maui, Kauai and the island of Hawaii.
She had spent time in libraries and bookstores. She has read 100s of books. She is ready, willing and able to do good things for this world, for herself, for her future family and these islands. She is strong in STEM. She is the star of her daddy’s science fiction world of the Yi-Er-San(1-2-3). She is local born, world raised.
The teacher smiles when this child walks through the door. Her parents smile in their souls all day long. Her Chinese and Swedish ancestors, living and spirit, smile and help the one that was raised by a community. This one that will give back to that same community.
Why would a parent and community do any less? Let me count the ways. . .