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To the 'Exceptional Needs' Teacher Who Changed My Daughter's Life

I see you.

I see how tired and over-extended and underfunded and under appreciated  you are.

I see you.

I see the way you carry your work home with you; the kids who are success stories and the kids you lie awake worrying about every night because their parents just don’t have the knowledge and resources to help them. You might be encouraged to stay back and don’t form attachments, yet because you do, my daughter is a success story.

Because you care, you have changed countless lives.

Thanks to you, my daughter  — who was diagnosed as “low functioning” and whose paperwork originally said: “homeschool, nonverbal, will need lifelong care” — is thriving. A lesser teacher would have accepted her limitations and just pushed her right on through, but you really saw her. You literally threw yourself under her when she hurled herself down on the pavement during a meltdown. You gave her focused one-on-one attention until she really saw you, really heard you. And then you helped her find her voice.

You are everything a teacher should be and I want you to know you are more than any mom could hope to have guide her daughter.

When you’re tired and frustrated and wondering why you do this — why you put yourself through this day in and day out in a system that is heartbreakingly broken — please remember my daughter’s face. I will never forget you… you will be thanked in every speech (speeches you will probably never hear). You will be included in every milestone and some day, years and years from now, you will be invited to her graduation. A graduation we were told would never happen, but we knew better. And more importantly, you knew better.

I see you, dear teacher.

I will never find adequate words to thank you. Thanks is not enough, so please know, I see you. You are outstanding.

I only wish there were more of you.

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