Saturday, November 29, 2008

Heroes: Special Education Students

I spend most of my days in a school: teaching. My students have a job: learning. I chose my job. They didn't. I'm well suited for my job; they aren't. How tough is that? Each day my students are confronted with their personal shortcomings. Learning is generally hard for them. It's harder for them mostly due to circumstances beyond their control. For the most part Reading, Writing, and Math are areas of difficulty: every day. So what makes these students my heroes?

Their ability to show up. Watching the movie Hard Ball some years ago, I heard a character use that phrase to identify the heroic characteristic of his young players. It stuck. It stuck because I know many students who despite learning disabilities have chosen to show up day after day, to work hard, and to make progress.

These students bring out the best in me. They inspire me to "show up" day after day with my "A" game. They deserve the best teaching I can muster. Learning is difficult for them, but not impossible. They need someone who can be extra-ordinary. They need a "stellar" program, so they can be average. They inspire me to aim high. And I do... because of them: my heroes.


  1. Bravo for such a wonderful post. Your students will succeed because you care and are so very passionate. I thank you for all you do to make our world better, teaching our young is an amazing thing.

  2. Hi Don,

    What a great post. I worked with a lot of kids who had special educational needs at my last school, and the support they received from the specialist staff was phenomenal.

    I am in awe of teachers like yourself, who give so much each day for so little apparent reward. Good on you.

    I salute you.

    Let me know how you get on with the Macs in the after school program.