A tale of two teachers
Over the years I have worked with some wonderful teachers who would not allow their students to fail. Recently I found a letter that I wrote to a superintendent commending two young teachers. I wanted to share with her the story of two sixth graders who could have failed, but they succeeded because of these teachers. Here is
a part of this letter. All names have been changed.
“Keith and Rita were in my resource program. They entered our school in fifth grade. Both children had a learning disability. Today at graduation, Keith received the math award! Rita received at least three honorable mentions in academic subjects. But there is more to this story.
Two years ago, Keith entered the fifth grade in our school. His weakness in language was so severe that he could not speak in coherent sentences. His writing skills were almost nonexistent. By the end of fifth grade he had progressed, but his improvement was more dramatic throughout the sixth grade in Ms. Young’s class. I credit this, not only to his innate ability, and his courageous stamina, but to the efforts of his wonderful mother and two marvelous young teachers.
Rita is another wonderful success story. She came to our fifth grade from an inclusion class. Her fifth grade teacher, in her first year of teaching, did not understand this child’s needs. Unfortunately, she did not comply with the I. E. P. nor did she cooperate with my ongoing efforts to help her understand how to work with Rita. At the end of fifth grade, the decision was made to either retain her in grade five or return her to an inclusion class. Her mother intervened and Rita was placed in Ms. Green’s sixth grade class. Ms. Green embraced this child, and as the year progressed, Rita began to succeed. With Ms. Green’s love, encouragement, and her willingness to specifically address Rita’s needs, this child attained the B honor roll!
I am so proud of these children! I am just as proud of these two marvelous, young teachers. They opened their minds and their hearts to these children. They were willing to work with their ability rather than see only their disability. They cooperated with me, took the time to meet with me, implemented the strategies I suggested, and complied with the I. E. P. The result – SUCCESS FOR EVERYONE!
I cannot fully express my gratitude and respect for these teachers. They are part of our hope for the future!
There is a message that extends beyond this story. Each one of us must expect success and strive consistently to do whatever is necessary to help our children succeed. It is very easy to accept failure, but that’s the lazy way out and leads us and our children on the road to nowhere. With our patience and perseverance, our willingness to create different strategies to help our children learn, we will reach our goal. SUCCESS IS THE ONLY OPTION!