A Modern Day Fairy Tale

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Teachers Change Lives (So Can You) {#TeachersChangeLives #CGC #sp}

When you have a child requiring special education, sending that child off to school can be quite stressful. School can either be a really amazing experience... or a really horrible one. In the four years since my little man started school he has had a little bit of both. He's had years where he flourished and grew... and years where getting him to school was a fight and it seemed there was nothing being accomplished day to day. Ultimately his experiences all came down to the teachers. Those years where he has done the greatest were the years when he had amazing teachers. The teachers who went above and beyond, who wanted as much for my little guy as we did and who did everything within their power to help him to reach his greatest potential.

The first was his very first teacher, Miss J. I will be honest, when Shaun first started preschool I was extremely apprehensive and even debated not sending him just yet. He was only three years old and at that point really did not communicate at all. I'd learned to read his cues and knew what he needed much of the time and I worried that being away from me, he would not be understood. Though it was a hard decision at the time, looking back I now see it was probably the single greatest thing we ever did for him. He went in with practically zero communication and came out speaking sentences. Miss J came to love my son as her own and saw not only his challenges but the amazing mind he possessed as well. She (and her aides) took the time to get to know him and his needs. She not only took the time to work with him in the classroom but came into our home to work with his in home ABA therapists so that we could be certain that his entire team was on the same page. This was not something she had to do, but something she chose to do to help Shaun be his absolute best. Shaun had Miss J for two years and she truly became like an extended member of our family. Before our move, she was kind enough to write a detailed letter to his new teacher describing what had worked for him there- his strengths, weaknesses, motivations, everything... and made sure to let us know that she was available if they had any questions. 

After our move, Shaun's school experience went downhill. He didn't have horrible teachers by any means, but they were not like Miss J. They did not go above and beyond, but seemed to just do the required. Unfortunately, Shaun really struggled with this. While he continued to excel academically- behaviorally and emotionally he struggled. Our mornings were a fight everyday and I know we both dreaded sending him off. It was horrible and we longed for the end of the year, and a new placement. Thankfully, Shaun's current teacher, Ms. C, is another 'above and beyond' type of teacher. Upon our first meeting, she told us that she knew our children were the most important things in the world to us, and assured us that she would treat them accordingly...and she truly has. We are no longer fighting to have Shaun's needs met. He is enjoying school and once again thriving in the school environment. He loves Ms. C and we love her for turning his school experience around again. As a matter of fact, he has come so far this year that he will be entering a mainstream classroom (with support) next year for first grade...a far cry from where he was just one year ago! And it was all because of a great teacher.

We have seen firsthand just how much difference a teacher can make,  but did you know that teachers spend not only their time, but also their own money towards our kiddos? This is particularly true for underfunded areas. And when they want to bring in more innovative and creative ideas to help our children, that takes even MORE money. In this economy, that isn't always possible. So, wouldn't it be great if there was a way that we could support those teachers who are doing all they can for our kiddos, so that they can do even more? That's where Adopt-A-Classroom comes in. Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom have partnered to raise awareness for teachers and all that they do in the lives of their students. Adopt-A-Classroom is a nonprofit organization connecting donors with teachers to enhance the learning environment for their students. Take a look at this video:

So, how can YOU help? Donating to a teacher could not be easier, simply follow the steps below:
    1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website
    2. Click on the teal "Donate to a Teacher" box on the Teachers Change Lives website, which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
    3. Follow the corresponding steps from there

Are you a teacher yourself? Follow these easy steps to register your own classroom to allow donations:
    1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website
    2. Click on the red box that says "Register Your Classroom," which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
    3. Follow the corresponding steps from there

These amazing teachers are doing all they can to make a difference in the lives of their students, so why don't we all do all we can to support them in that mission.

Do you have a teacher that made an impact on your life? Or the life of your child? What made that teacher stand out to you?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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