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Working With Special Kids… Everyone Should Do It

Part of my new job, is that I’m rotating between many different classes and subject matters. I’ve gone from some of the things that are easy for me like Language Arts and Literature, since I have a little background in writing although you wouldn’t know it by reading my blog, to subjects that I never in my lifetime thought I would be teaching like MATH!

Anyone that knows me, knows I suck at math and really basically FEAR it. I mean I can do the basics and what not, but when we start getting into the complex stuff… I’d just much rather stare out a window or something.

On occasion, they will have me substitute during a class period for “Special Kids” where I literally will monitor a child that needs a little more attention and I basically keep them on focus and give them a little more help understanding what the teacher is trying to explain to the rest of the kids.

The other day, my supervisor told me I needed to report to the “Band Room” where I would be assisting a “Special Needs” student with “Band Practice”. Anyone that knows me, knows that I also have no musical ability whatsoever and I doubt I could even play the friggin triangle if I wanted too.

I was dreading this class thinking that I was going to have to help this “special child” learn how to play an instrument. Man oh mighty, I was so pleasantly surprised by this child that they not only knew how to play their instrument, they new how to play it pretty good for the age of the student. This student even knew how to clean their instrument as well as tune it. I didn’t have to do a thing during the entire class. It was so enjoyable! I literally sat their and listened to the kids play music for an entire period. It was like listening to a symphony or anything great and most of the time, the kids were off on their playing… but it was so enjoyable.

Today, I also got the privilege to work with an Autistic child for about a half an hour. This child although he has the body of about a 13 – 16 year old, he is literally about the age of a 2-3 year old because of his Autism. This boy was so much fun to work with as I chased him around the school on his “GIANT TRIKE” that I just had a blast trying to teach him just the littlest things like GO and STOP… Things like Left and Right didn’t comprehend to him… but things like… Grass and Rain and other things did. While I understand that he probably didn’t understand much of what I was trying to say to him, I do feel that the little bit of talking I did with him … made his day… which in turn made my day.

Working with the special children is almost as fun as working with the other children. At least most of the Special Children don’t attempt to smart off on purpose!!!

4 Responses

  1. Great story Damon. You revealed a rare talent as well as a huge compassion… both sadly, in short supply these days.

  2. Damon,
    I read a book a really, really long time ago that colored my view of education and student-teacher relations. One teacher, one student. One awesome journey. It was so powerful, it was one of the few books I have ever read twice. And I will let you know if I EVER remember the title …
    Good for you and good for your young charge. There can only be great things ahead!

  3. Damon,

    That story should be sent to the Principal. REALLY… you are so blessed and you are a blessing too! And I am not speaking in a “religious”sense.

  4. Good for you Damon, great way to contribute to the community and feel good at the same time. Thanks for spreading the aloha :-)

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