Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Wonderful Kindergarten Teacher

Several years ago, a friend of mine asked that her daughter with Down syndrome be included in a local day school. She was one of the first in our city to be "included". My friend asked the play school teacher what she would do if other parents protested. The teacher said, "Don't worry, that's my job."
At the end of the year, my friend asked "By the way, did anyone protest?" The teacher smiled. "One day a father came to our school to pick up his daughter. He noticed 'Leah’ and asked
-Isn't this child from the (special ed) class next door?'
-No, I replied, she is from our class.
He went home, and related this to his wife. She called up immediately and apologized, saying that of course they had nothing against 'Leah', and he hadn't meant to imply...”

“That”, said the teacher, was the only ‘protest’ we had the whole year.”

The teacher who is the hero of this story was also Ricki’s teacher one year. She died young, a few years ago, and I went to “console” the mourners. They related that any time a “special-needs” child she had agreed to accept would have a toileting “accident”, she would “handle” the cleanup, and not her assistant. (Normally the assistant handles things like this.) Her reason:” I agreed to accept the child; the aid didn’t have any say in it!”

Some “simple” people are special. She certainly was.

1 comment:

Lisa b said...

I read your comment on this story at Dave's. What a wonderful story. It gives me hope in this world.