I am writing today to give honor to a very special teacher in my life. If I hadn’t met her and had her for my teacher the last seven years of school, my school years would have been a very painful memory. It was a difficult choice for my mom to make to have me transferred to another school district for my education. At the time my health was very bad, I was so sensitive to smells, dust, mold and many foods. We didn’t know how to keep me healthy yet so I was sick and weak and unhappy.
I was 14 years old when I met LuAnn, she was so kind to me and spoke to me like I was intelligent. I met students in her class that became close friends while I was in school. It was so different in her class because she believed in me just like my Mom did. If I didn’t have her I can’t imagaine how different my life would have been. I became eager for school, I looked forward to seeing my friends. I became known in school for my special talents and interests. My Mom had worked so hard trying to get me music therapy in school, but for the first years of my education the school blocked her efforts. I had it at home but not at school. It soothed me so much. What I couldn’t share was that I heard music in my head. It was so beautiful that I needed to share it. When I started in LuAnns classroom she and my Mom had me start working with the music therapist that continues to work with me to this day. She gave me a voice through my music. She helped me find a way to share my songs. LuAnn encouraged me and set up a gathering at school so my first song could be heard. I was so filled with joy . My Mom heard it for the first time that day. LuAnn was so excited for me and found ways for me to share my talents with others at school.
She is so much a part of me. I miss her greatly. My Mom and me wish every student who needs extra support have a LuAnn in their lives. For the teachers who are reading this and are open to the possibility that their students who are silent are very capable, I honor you. You are making a huge impact by first believing in them. If you are fortunate to be part of that students life when they discover a way to communicate with you, you will have changed their world and those around them who have not heard their voice. If LuAnn had not believed my Mom, and had read all the reports carefully prepared for her by other teachers, I would not be writing this in her honor today. The reports are not who I am. They are not helpful to those of us who are silent. I am so greatful for those who have given me love by their belief in me.
I am attaching my seventh song to this blog. I titled it “For Strength”. It is to honor my family. It is because of their support of me that I am able to share my talents with others. Their love gives me hope, strength and courage to face my life. I hope you enjoy this song. It was played by my friend Karen, who is my music therapist.