Sometimes The Mighty puts out an all-call to their authors for specific types of blogs. Today I received a message asking for 200-500 words describing a moment when that person went above and beyond to help you or your loved one.
We have been blessed with amazing teachers. Soon, I will devote an entire series to his amazing regular classroom teachers – but for now, it’s his special education teachers.
If I were to choose someone it would be my beloved Bonnie, his K-2 special education teacher. The thing is that early on it’s nearly impossible to separate who taught whom more. Sure, she was Tucker’s teacher. But she taught me so much. Most importantly? She taught me it would all be okay. She taught me about acceptance. She taught me about patience. She taught me about saying the word autism. She, in many ways, taught me how to be the mom that Tucker needed.
If I asked Tucker to choose, it would be Samantha. I don’t have nearly enough words left to talk about our beloved Samantha. She is one-half angel and one-half saint. She is remarkable.
Impossible to choose.
She was Tucker’s special education teacher during his 5/6 years and she will forever be a part of our family.
When Tucker graduates from High School, she will be top on the invite list.
When Tucker graduates from College, she will be top on the invite list.
If Tucker gets married, she will be on the invite list (maybe not the top…I will be the mother of the groom, you know ;))
Words alone cannot describe Samantha. She understood and understands Tucker on a level that most cannot.
She is the reason my heart-felt calm, the reason my head felt clear, and the reason I smiled when dropping him off at school. She was so much more than ‘just’ a teacher. She was his advocate. She was his friend. She was his confidant. She still is his advocate, his friend, and his confidant.
She knew when to challenge and when to let go.
She was able to get the very best from him.
She forgave and started over.
She had hope.
That’s what she did for us….
What did she do for Tucker? Just ask him…
“Tucker, I want you to tell everyone that reads the blog about Ms. Brandel.”
“Mom, she’s a Mrs. now. She’s Mrs. Corsbie.”
“Ah…yes, I misspoke.”
At this point my sweet boy gets a big smile and his eyes begin to sparkle. He wraps the blanket around himself a little tighter and pulls it over his face. In case you don’t know – this is a sign of comfort. He’s thinking of her and how she makes him feel…calm, happy, accepted. The two of them just had that thing…that thing that cannot be described. Then he begins, it’s all jumbled together and comes out at lightning pace, but I think I transcribed it all.
“She is an amazing teacher. Even though a bunch of students yell at her and sometimes hit her she keeps her calm. She was one of my favorite teachers. She let me read and her room was a safe place. I went there if I was angry. I felt very glad to have a safe place to go and she never got mad at me. Instead she just explained why other people did what they were doing. She never blamed me and always asked my side of the story. She could always understand me because she knew what I meant when I was explaining. She always believed me.
My favorite thing to do in her class was her read. She let me read in some special comfy chairs and they made me feel at home and happy. She also had snacks for me because she knew that I get grumpy when I’m hungry but I can’t always tell I’m hungry. It’s weird and I don’t really understand it all – but you [mom] and Mrs. Corsbie do.
I always wish I was back in her class, it’s where I felt the happiest.”
Thank you, Samantha, for being a saint and our angel.