A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, April 22, 2010

In celebration of a kid who never quits

I have a student who has a serious medical condition. He will not ever get better-- his condition is degenerative.

But he moves on.

He will not be defined by anything but who he is rather than what has happened to him.

He is the most interesting kid. Even though his condition makes it difficult for him to express himself, he still makes the attempt, each and every day, to express his very deep thoughts. He is always paying attention, even if he is pain, even if he is uncomfortable, even if this has not been a good day thus far.

I love how the other kids all accept him for who he is. I love how they all help him get ready as he comes in every day. I love how none of them get impatient when he struggles to get the words out. I love how he was listening to one of the princesses go on and on about some silliness, and he got the perfect wisecrack out, and everybody laughed-- even the princess. When he laughs, his entire body curves up into a smile, and he crows with joy.

I love how he sees connections that no one else does. I love how he never ever gives up-- he is the living embodiment of Winston Churchill: "Never ever ever ever...."

I love how nothing ever seems to get him down, even though he has been abandoned by everyone who should have stood by him, and now each new day is a challenge of just seeing if he can get through the day without falling or choking or getting stuck somewhere.

I love the fact that he reminds of why I entered this profession so many years ago, and I wish with every fiber of my being that he would go on forever.

Each day is a blessing. I try not to worry about his tomorrows. That's what he teaches me, every day. He absorbs each second with a verve and a strength that I wish we could all tap into.

Thank you, Bud. It's your day, today.

Labels: ,


At 4/22/10, 11:03 PM, Blogger Dan Edwards said...

Bravo ! nay, that should be BRAVO !

At 4/24/10, 11:47 AM, Blogger Scooter Mom said...

Agreed. Bravo! I have a student like that as well, and no matter what is happening she continues to try her best. It makes up for the student who sits next to her who has an excuse every minute for why she didn't finish an assignment or practice or why she just "can't handle" coming to class today. I only wish that some days other students could walk a mile in someone else's moccasins.

At 4/28/10, 7:12 PM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

I think he's very lucky to have a teacher like you who appreciates and supports him. In fact, I think your other students are just as lucky.

At 5/1/10, 10:26 PM, Blogger bun2bon said...

One more pro to having mixed abilities AND mixed disabilities present in a class. Nice story.

At 6/1/10, 1:17 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This is so inspiring!! Help him keep the positivity going.
Keep sharing!!

This is Nancy from Israeli Uncensored News


Post a Comment

<< Home

free statistics