We only meet Mr. Lema for about a second, but he has a gigantic impact on Francisco, so he's super important. You know how most of the other teachers just ignore Francisco, and don't really care that he wants to learn English? Well not Mr. Lema. Nope—he takes the role of World's Greatest Teacher to a whole new level. When Francisco wants to learn English, Mr. L hops right on the bandwagon:
I walked up to him and asked if he could help me with the new words. "Gladly," he said. (9.29)
Yep, that's all it takes—one word and Mr. L has stolen not only our hearts, but Francisco's too. Seriously though, that one word—"gladly"—makes all the difference for our main man. Now he's got a partner-in-crime when it comes to learning English and a new pal at school. And Mr. L doesn't hesitate for even a second when Francisco asks for his help. Yay. It is a moment of investment and empowerment that lingers with Francisco long after his family's moved on to the next town.