Writing 101: Day Six.
I’ll have to take a slightly different angle to answer this question. The most interesting person I met this year was someone I actually met in 2012, but I never paid any real attention to him until earlier this year.
One of the teachers on my daughter’s special education team joined the department 2 years ago. He was unremarkable, young, and I felt he might have been inexperienced. That was me rushing to judgment without knowing anything about him or his background.
For the remainder of that school year, I bypassed him and continued to correspond with the head of the team, with whom I was familiar before this young man had joined the team. However, I noticed that it was still he who was responding to my emails and phone calls. Every time I contacted the school, my concerns would be rerouted to him and he would faithfully respond.
It took 2 years for me to realize that he was the person who had become the lead liaison on my daughter’s special education team. It also took me that long to realize that he had been more than helpful to me during that time. We maintained such open communication with each other so that no matter what happened he would give me a call or email me at any time. He also went above and beyond what I consider to be his duties on several occasions, by ensuring my child attended her after school sports activity and by keeping a second pair of eyes on her during out of town school trips.
After our last meeting together, I asked him what inspired him to enter the field of Special Education. He told me that he had an older brother who was severely autistic and needed constant care. Seeing all the help that his brother needed to get through his day prompted him to enter this career field and he’s never looked back. I also found out that he volunteers his time twice per month in a big brother program in a community for special needs children.
I was awestruck as I listened to his story. I had no idea that he had always been more than qualified to deal with my concerns based on his own life experiences.
I really felt like that I’d really just known him for the first time this year, despite having met him 2 years previously. He is certainly the most interesting person I’ve met this year. Definitely an A-plus guy.