Now that spring has arrived, I have had my allergies attack me in full force. I have this happen every spring and fall but every time it happens, I am surprised. I don’t understand why I should be surprised after fifty years of this and you would think that I would be used to it. But every year, I guess that I am hopeful that it will disappear.
I guess that many of my students think this way also. They have had disabilities most of their life and when school starts, they are hopeful that this year will be different. This one will be easier than the past. This one will be that special year that everything clicks. And then it happens. The same thing kicks them in the seat of the pants and they are overwhelmed with disappointment.
Some of the things that I love to do are hiking and camping. But with my allergies, if I forget to take some preventative antihistamines, my nose will start running, my eyes water, and I can’t breathe. The next day my eyes will be swollen shut and I will be itchy all over. Yet, I still hike and camp. I won’t give up and I won’t give in to this miserable condition that affects my life.
I imagine that some of my students feel the same way. Some of them love to learn. Yet trying to learn causes them frustration and trouble in their lives. Yet, some of them won’t give up or give in to this frustration.
I have had many people tell me that I should avoid the outdoors and hiking because it makes me so miserable. My allergies affect my life and they can’t imagine fighting this just because I love to hike. My family hates to see me hurting and miserable when this happens.
Many people have discouraged my students and told them that they need to give up. They have been told that they won’t be able to accomplish anything or be anything that they want. Their disabilities affect their life and many relatives want to protect them from hurt and disappointment.
I won’t give up hiking and camping outdoors because I love it. I believe that even though I experience tough times, I’m a better person for the experience. I have learned many things that I wouldn’t have learned if I hid away and avoided things that made me feel miserable.
I hope to encourage my students in the same way. Yes, they will be hurt and disappointed at times. Yes, they may even feel miserable. But they will also feel joy and excitement and so many other wonderful feelings. The positives will outweigh the negatives if they stick with it. If they really love something, they shouldn’t let other people discourage them and keep them from their dream.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original image: '231 of 365: Open Season'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/70544918@N00/2324551595 by: Lis Ferla