At the end of the day, I love looking back and reflecting on some really great stuff that I get to experience every day as an autism teacher. It’s one of the best parts of my job. Great things happen all the time. Little, great things. There is always something to celebrate.
My students are amazing. They work harder than anyone I know. Sure there are obstacles and setbacks. But they continue to push through, overcome, and do great things. Always.
Yesterday was one of those days where my heart was so full of pride for one of my students. His story inspired today’s lunch note sketch.
Meet Tony. He is smart, funny, creative, and kind. This kiddo has taught me that there is more than one right way to do most things. He is a problem solver. If he doesn’t have what he needs – he makes it. Need to know about dinosaurs? He’s your man! He has a quiet sense of humor, but can really get the giggles when watching silly kitten videos or looking at pictures of animals wearing crazy hats. He loves to share, and is quick to offer his teachers a cookie (or pickle) from his snack! The other students in my classroom look up to him. They care about him, and he cares about them. Not every day is a good day for Tony, but he comes back to school each day and tries his best. Sometimes it’s hard, but we’re learning about Tony and he’s learning to trust us, and together we’re making it through each day.
Yesterday was the mile run. Tony isn’t the biggest fan of running. In fact, I am pretty sure he despises it. But there we were walking toward the track to meet his classmates as they got ready to run the mile. I started to put my things down in the grass in preparation to run along with him, but his PE teacher looked at me and said, “You can’t run in those shoes! He’s got this! He’ll be fine!” And fine he was. He ran all 5 laps. Here he is on the cool down lap, talking to his friends.
I was so proud of him. I’m proud of him every day, but especially yesterday. He faced this challenge head on, and he gave it his all. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. He did it. He did a great thing.