Thank You Influential Teacher

Dear Influential Teacher,

I know what it’s like to live in a bubble of the typical. A typical day, a typical child, a typical life.

I know what it’s like to go through the year, losing the will to invest in the kids we have trouble connecting with…those who aren’t self-motivated, involved, and actively engaged in the lesson…those who don’t see us giving our all, lesson after lesson, paper cuts, ink stains, broken copy machines, fire drills, back talk, and all.

I know what it’s like to overlook those who don’t speak well or those who seem to ask too many questions…those who come with a stack of paper work…those who just won’t listen.

I know what it’s like to try to teach those who don’t have a support system at home, who are never told “Good job. You did it. I’m so proud of you.”

I know what it’s like to focus more on those who want to be taught, who smile and talk at all the right times…the ones who understand norms…the ones who don’t make sounds or funny movements…the ones who are easy to control…the ones who look you in the eyes.

I know what it’s like to close the door at the end of the day and go home, letting go of the faces and the problems of my students.

I am guilty.

But now I know.

Now my days are atypical to say the least.

I now know what it’s like to invest in the kids who are often overlooked because they don’t look the same or behave the same, the ones who have no support system at home or never seem to be involved in much.

I now know what it’s like to listen extra closely to those kids who hang around after class just to have someone to talk to because they don’t have many–if any–friends. Maybe there isn’t a mama at home or a home-cooked meal, no letterman jackets or class rings, no “great job’s” or “good luck’s.”

I now know what it’s like to focus on those who seemingly don’t want to learn…the ones who have been told they can’t or that there’s no use. I now play roles of school mom and cheerleader to those who are angry, lost, alone, and afraid…the ones who feel misunderstood…the anxious ones…the sensitive ones.

I now know what it’s like to close the door of my classroom and hold my students’ faces in my heart.

Call it God’s will. Isaac. Fate. Chance. Call it Autism. Regardless, I am the one who has been transformed.

Now, I know.

But all along, you knew.

You chose the “off” days, the aggression, the overwhelming silence, the quoting, the lining up, the explaining, the hours of planning, the paper work, and the meetings.

You chose the unlit path paved with abbreviations, paper trails, and parents’ tears.

You loved my son before I could look at him the same way as I had before. You saw potential in him when I had doubts. You worked with him while I was broken and torn. You believed in him when I couldn’t see tomorrow. You were strong when I was weak.

You chose to walk this road all along, and you’ve held our hands the whole way.

And for that I’m thankful. You helped me believe. You helped open my eyes.

Thank you, Teacher.

Thank you for helping me see.

Written by, Mallory Hood

Mallory Hood is an English-teacher who lives at home with her husband, Heath, daughter Caroline, and five-year-old son Isaac who falls on the spectrum. You can find this original post on her blog at http://countitalljoy2017.blogspot.com/?m=1.

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  • Kathy

    September 8, 2018 at 10:26 am
    Reply

    Never doubt the presence of angels among us.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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