Education Opinion

Good day, good luck

By Jessica Shyu — October 19, 2006 1 min read
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There is no such thing as a “bad day” or “lousy luck"-- you get what you put into it. But man, today was bad and my luck was lousy.

Lessons flopped. Confidential meeting papers got misplaced. And three students earned lunch detention, which meant I also had lunch detention. Parents were mad, teachers were madder and students were maddest. Everyone was in a bad mood. It was one of those days you pause in the middle of a chaotic lesson and pray you’re not contributing too much to the educational fallout in the United States.

To add to the fun, I had a meeting in the afternoon. It’s a pity I had forgotten about it until half an hour before it started. The documents I had written for the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) meeting got erased from the computer. We needed a translator. And the student didn’t want to join us. Tensions were high even before the adults started raising their voices.

But in the middle of this meeting, the student’s father piped up. He had been quiet through the whole hour. He didn’t speak English and was going a bit deaf. He didnt have any education beyond the third grade, and in fact, had learned his trades of truck driving and lifting heavy equipment simply by observing others. But right now, in the middle of this uncomfortable meeting, he needed to say something. He said, in his soft, lilting Navajo, “Ahéhee’ sha’átchíní she’awéé’ nidanoohtin. Ahéhee’.”

“Thank you, my children, for teaching my son. Thank you.”

There is no such thing as a “bad day” or “lousy luck.” I had a good day and great luck.

The opinions expressed in On the Reservation are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.