A portrait of Mr. Noble by one of his students.
Arthur Noble II was in “full Grinch mode” on Dec. 23. A Head Start teacher with Teach for America in Chicago, he had to work through the holidays so parents could work. He missed his family. Determined not to teach, he turned on Dora the Explorer. Then it started to snow.
We watched the snowfall in silence until Ella, a precocious Ghanaian three-year-old, started telling a story about holidays at home: “We don’t have snow at Africa where my family is, but we all go to church and eat together.”
Two Mexican students chimed in excitedly about staying up late for church, and a Nigerian boy proudly broke out in a church processional. A student from Spain bubbled over about her grandpa, who loved her all the way from his village, and showed me a letter full of hearts she had been working on intently during Dora.
Gianny said with a growing toothy grin, “Dude! My uncles are gonna watch football and take me fishing. I like fishing, and they always teach me how!”
Then Rihanna hugged my shin, “Don’t be sad Mr. Arthur. You can come to my house … my mom makes chocolate cake for my uncle when it snows. She is the best cook and you are just sweeter than piece of chocolate.”
His preschooler family “laughed and shared stories of love, family, and snow for the rest of the day.”