Do I LOOK Like...A Miracle-Worker?

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The way of the miracle-worker is to see all human behavior as one of two things: either love, or a call for love.

Marianne Williamson-Activist, Author, Lecturer

I hear so many teachers and coaches bemoan their circumstances. There are not enough resources, there is not enough support, my students don't have what it takes, my parents don't have what it takes, etc.., etc...,etc.... Daily, it seems, they throw up their arms in exasperation and exclaim:

What do people think I am, a Miracle-Worker??!!

 

Most Americans are familiar with the name, Helen Keller. However, many maybe unsure of what she actually did, so I included a short bio excerpt provided by the Helen Keller International:

The name of Helen Adams Keller is known around the world as a symbol of courage in the face of overwhelming odds, yet she was much more than a symbol. She was a woman of luminous intelligence, high ambition and great accomplishment. She devoted her life to helping others.

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, in 1880. When she was only 19 months old, she contracted a fever that left her blind and deaf. When she was almost seven years old, her parents engaged Anne Mansfield Sullivan to be her tutor. With dedication, patience, courage and love, Miss Sullivan was able to evoke and help develop the child's enormous intelligence.

Helen Keller quickly learned to read and write, and began to speak by the age of 10. When she was 20, she entered Radcliffe College, with Miss Sullivan at her side to spell textbooks – letter by letter – into her hand. Four years later, Radcliffe awarded Helen Keller a Bachelor’s degree magna cum laude.

After graduation, Helen Keller began her life's work of helping blind and deaf-blind people. She appeared before state and national legislatures and international forums, traveled around the world to lecture and to visit areas with a high incidence of blindness, and wrote numerous books and articles. She met every U.S. president from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon Johnson, and played a major role in focusing the world's attention on the problems of the blind and the need for preventive measures.

Miss Keller won numerous honors, including honorary university degrees, the Lions Humanitarian Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and election to the Women's Hall of Fame. During her lifetime, she was consistently ranked near the top of "most admired" lists. She died in 1968, leaving a legacy that Helen Keller International is proud to carry on in her name and memory.

 
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CLICK ON IMAGE: to view a short clip on Helen Keller's amazing life: dedicated to helping others with disabilities.

 

With all the success of Helen Keller, many people forget or are unaware of the role of Helen Keller's teacher: Ms. Anne Sullivan-The Miracle Worker. For all intents, Helen was a lost cause by the age of 6. Nobody could do anything with her! Her parents, desperate, arranged for Ms.Sullivan-age 21- to be Helen's teacher.... and the rest is history. *Ms. Anne Sullivan accompanied Helen to college, helped her earn a degree and supported her in her public service: over 30 years she dedicated to helping Helen!

And we think we have it rough? By no means was the education of Helen Keller easy. Talk about an understatement! It may have been the most difficult IEP anybody has ever written! But Ms. Anne Sullivan DID IT! This recent college graduate, 21 years old, a rookie........did a miracle.

And we DARE complain about our students or our circumstances??

SHAME ON US!!

At Sullivan's college graduation, she addressed her classmates:

"Duty bids us go forth into active life. Let us go cheerfully, hopefully, and earnestly, and set ourselves to find our especial part. When we have found it, willingly and faithfully perform it; for every obstacle we overcome, every success we achieve tends to bring man closer to God."

This advice is for all of us, all of us who have been given the active life of being a teacher: of making miracles every day in the lives of our students. We must all make sure we take Anne Sullivan's advice and to go earnestly and perform the miracles God has entrusted to us. For if we do not, who can? Anne Sullivan probably didn't look like a Miracle-Worker, just like many of us don't "look" the part. But don't fool yourself, once one makes the decision to be that teacher, that coach, that parent we are given miraculous powers to transform. Choose to use those powers TODAY! There are those in our midst looking for a miracle.

"When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another." -Helen Keller

More Than A Coach...SportsLeader!!

 
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CLICK ON IMAGE: to view scenes some of the struggles Ms. Sullivan had to overcome in teaching Helen how to learn- from the movie: The Miracle Worker.

 
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