She did not start out to be a teacher but she inherited my mother's disposition to save the world. I have a birthday card framed in my trophy room from my uncle to my mom on her eightieth birthday.
I am proud to say that my daughter has taken up the cause. She reminds me of my more and more each day.
Eda Garoni Adams, circa 1934, a mother who loved children: Above. Holly Adams, 2014, a daughter who taught children with special needs: Below.
After college and several jobs, she decided to return to school at night and get, her Master's in Education Severe Disabilities degree.
Her approach to her students is that of a cheerleader, counselor and coach. She becomes involved with their families and maintains contact with the child and family long after they have left her class. It has been an education for me all well. I am not sure I could ever have the strength to deal with some of these wonderful children as they struggle to achieve objectives that we take for granted.
She is currently pursuing an advanced degree in Behavior Analysis.
I developed a cynical attitude over the years. A career in sales will do that to you. Since I am half-Italian, I used to think that the old Godfather quote "It's not personal, it's just business" was an accurate summation. It is not. Whether you want to admit or not, rejection is always personal to the rejected person. As I head down the backside of the mountain, I am trying to make a dedicated effort to soften the false braggadocio I once used as a shield to the world.
My daughter's passion and dedication reminded me of some of the teachers I have encountered in my school and personal life. I decided to revisit people who influenced me most in school. Maybe a short post on each will inspire others to remember that special teacher or person who made a difference.
I do not now know how many of these special people there will be or even if this becomes a series of post, but I do know that they had an impact on me that I never realized before. That reminds me of an old poem.
A Bag Of Tools
By: R. L. Sharpe (c1809)
Isn't it strange
That princes and kings,
And clowns that caper
In sawdust rings,
And common folks
Like you and me
Are builders of eternity?
To each is given
a book of rules,
A shapeless mass
and a kit of tools;
And each must make
Ere life is flown -
A stumbling block
Or a steppingstone.
Publisher's note: Join Bobby Tony and others so inspired to discuss the "Teachers We Remember", a new, ongoing, and fully participatory series here on BCN.
My daughter was a public school teacher for several years. She was a special education teacher that specialized in children with special needs. Many of her students were nonverbal and many were severely disabled.