Today was our final staff development time. We did our campus rotations about duty assignments, grading policy, etc. We had a convocation service this morning that was student-oriented in nature. The speakers were current or former students from my school district. The one who stood out to me was a young man who will be in seventh grade at a different middle school than where I teach. I will call him My Inspiration. I would LOVE to teach him because he has fire, wit, and an engaging message despite being born with cerebral palsy. The doctors told his parents that he wouldn’t be able to either walk or talk. He proved them wrong! He uses a walker to get around, but he has been practicing hard at home. He can now walk about fifteen steps on his own. His goal is to walk unassisted to receive his high school diploma. That is one graduation ceremony I plan to attend just so I can cheer him on. We saw a video clip of him making those fifteen steps. I was crying and cheering for him. I know that if I taught My Inspiration that I would learn from him instead of the other way around. It was a great reminder of why I get up each and every morning to go to school and teach young people. They are worth it! This particular young man touched me because I had an aunt who had been born with cerebral palsy. She never walked, but she was able to talk up a storm. Aunt Pat was a vicious Chinese checkers player and a fabulous artist whose favorite color was purple. Unfortunately, we lost her in May 2008, but her spirit lives on.
I saw where M.I. was sitting and walked up to him, introduced myself, and said, “If I ever get to teach at the high school level, I am looking for you to be in my class!” I meant it.