Disclaimer, sorry this is so long... Thinking about this year's Polar Plunge and how overwhelming on different levels the day was. I was on such a high about our purpose there and why we raised money and froze our toes/knees/butts off for these amazing special athletes.
Then I got to see parents of a student I taught, many years ago when he was in third and fourth grade. He was such an amazing kid. The kind who was wise beyond his years. The kid I couldn't say anything sarcastic because he would laugh, understanding exactly what I was saying. The kid who could read people so well, he could convince them to do anything for him. The kid who was annoyed by the bad breath that a sustitute para had so he faked a seizure at school to get away from the old lady for awhile! This kid always made me laugh!
You see, he had Cerebral Palsy, but it didn't have him. He taught me so much about special education in those 2 years! It's not about his or any student's disability, but rather his/her ABILITY! And boy did he have ability. Fortunately for him, he had parents who knew he could accomplish anything and they gave him opportunities to do anything he wanted. I knew in 3rd grade he would go far in life. I learned Saturday that he did go on to college to study Forensic Science. He wanted to be an FBI profiler. Perfect career choice for him. But, a few weeks from his college graduation, he had passed away at the young age of 21. Despite what life handed him, he always turned it into something amazing!
He plunged for athletes, even just last year in 2015. This year, I dedicate the moment to him and all he taught me in those 2 short years of his life. I was honored to spend that time with him. I wish I could've known him as an adult! I enjoyed hearing the stories from his parents, including his tattoos (which he was afraid of needles), his concealed weapon (that he had a permit for), and taking a trip on his wheel chair to an ABC store to get liquor for shots to prove to someone he wasn't a "kiddo"!
I smile knowing he is one of many students who have a piece of my heart! Thank you Craig Bennett for all you taught me. May you RIP knowing your legacy of teaching others about ABILITIES will always carry on through me...