>My sister's dream has always been to be a teacher. She loved playing school when she was a kid, and for Hanukkah, my mom bought Sister's gifts at educational supply stores so that Sister would have a fully stocked classroom. Sister became a full-fledged camp counselor at the tender age of 15 because of innate rapport with the kiddies. She went on to college and earned a degree in elementary education. Then, she didn't find a teaching job.

Years went by. Her community, which she loves, is not a growing one, and openings for grade school teachers were scarce. She didn't want to move, plus her husband had been recognized for his excellent work with mentally ill and disabled adults, and had been promoted to a case management position despite a lack of social work degree. This type of opportunity would not come his way again in a new city.

She worked as the coordinator of a before- and after-school program in a public school. She oversaw the program's summer camp. She subbed. She designed winter break programming for kids at the local rec center. Time and time again she learned that teaching vacancies were filled by internal transfers before the jobs were even posted.

On Friday, Sister had an interview for a first grade teaching position. First grade is her first love. The interview went well. The committee said they would let her know about a second interview by Wed. Today she received a call from the committee at work. They had a follow up question for her: would Sister accept their offer and join their faculty as their new first grade teacher?

When Sister called me with the news, I was on the corner of 79th Street and Amsterdam Avenue on my way to meet the Big O for lunch. I cried. (OK, and I'm tearing up now too.) People stared at me as they walked by. I was just so happy for her. It's not only that Sister deserves this job; it's that the kids deserve to have her as their teacher. She's going to be the best.

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