Monday, June 23, 2008

Why Me Why Not

A Tribute to a Teacher

Last week while having my teeth cleaned, my hygienist shared that her son had joined a speech club. My hygienist's youngest son is the same age as my oldest, so we often talk about our boys. Her son has struggled with writing and has had some ups and downs in his school experiences. Recently his English teacher had told all the students that if they wrote a speech and performed it they would receive extra credit. All the kids had to write their speech for the title Why Me Why Not. To my hygienist's surprise, her son went on to win speech event after speech event. His speech is a wonderful tribute to the power and influence teachers can have over children. As a special educator myself, I loved the speech and asked her permission to share it on my blog. 

The following is his speech, as he wrote it.

Why Me Why Not

I have a learning disability, when I was seven; I dictated this poem to my teacher. 
The title is I am.

I am
A sloth lying around,
A lion that never gives up,
A tiger running just for the fun of it,
A dog that loves his master,
A clock that never stops tick - tocking,
A little light

My mom loved this poem, at first she didn't understand what it meant, I explained it to her. I will explain it to you.

I am
A sloth lying around that's because I am lazy.
A lion that never gives up, that's because I never stop trying.
A tiger running just for the fun of it, I do things because I want to not for something.
A dog that loves his master, that's because I am very loyal .
A clock that never stops tick - tocking, I like to talk I never stop.
A little light , I am really bright

I really wasn't lazy. I thought I was lazy because everybody told me I was, I couldn't get my work done in school. I had a hard time writing everything. Writing is more like running in circles for me. Try patting your head and rubbing your belly. That's what it feels like every time I write. I have to concentrate so much on writing that I can't think about anything else I try really hard but I never get any where. But I never give up.

One of the reasons I never gave up was a teacher I had, I will call her Mrs. X. When I told her I couldn't do something she believed me. She didn't get mad at me or punish me, she let me finish. Mrs X was the first teacher that didn't think I was lazy she knew I was smart. I worked as hard as I could for her; because she made me want to work hard. Mrs X was nice, she understood me. If she asked a question that I didn't understand she changed the way she asked the question so that I could understand it. She never got mad no matter how long it took me to do something.

I liked being in her class. I liked her when I left her class I felt like I was leaving an old friend. I was sad the last day of school that year, my uncle came by the house and I told him why I was unhappy. He said "your really lucky, I never felt that way about any teacher I ever had". I will always remember her and be thankful to have known her. In some ways a writing disability is horrid, I used to think why me in other ways I'm glad to have gotten to know a teacher as great as Mrs. X so why not?


Laura@Storytellin' Mama said...

Great and inspiring speech. finding the right teacher like that makes such a huge difference... Amazing insight from the boy writer!!

Genny said...

So, so beautiful! What a keepsake.

Kelly - PTT said...

This is a beautiful speech. I'm a school counselor and my son is in speech therapy. We have some things in common!

The Momster said...

That is just wonderful! I'm so glad that I came over from Pass The Torch and read this tonight. His mother must be so very proud :)