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To the Teacher of a Student With Cerebral Palsy

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I know you’re probably full of butterflies and nerves after finding out you will have a student in your class with cerebral palsy. But don’t worry, you got this. You are about to go on an adventure full of many rewarding moments, and you will be a part of milestones being reached by your student as the school year comes to play.

I know it’s going be hard trying to figure out how to navigate having a student with cerebral palsy and trying to find ways to include them in adaptive learning in a mainstream classroom with 30 plus students, but I have the confidence that you’ll be able to find a way.

After all, you were chosen to be the student’s teacher for a reason —because people believe that you would be more than capable to teach your new student to the best of your abilities.

A banner promoting The Mighty's new Our CP Journey group on The Mighty mobile app. The banner reads, Join Our CP Journey — a supportive and uplifting space for anyone who has cerebral palsy. Let's help each other find the courage to keep going. Click to join.

So don’t you worry about a thing. Along the way you’ll be able to guide each other on a remarkable adventure. You will be delighted each and every day that you are in class and see your student ready to learn and explore. Don’t be afraid to explore new opportunities and ways to help others learn. By doing so, you will inspire people to always be open to teaching no matter what disability or challenges the student has.

And remember it’s OK to have bad days where you’re frustrated and you’re doubting your ability to teach, it’s just one bad day and it doesn’t define what you can or achieve with your student.

If there’s any advice I could give you, it would be this: it’s very important for you to have patience and a close eye for
what the student’s needs and challenges are so that you can help them along the way…that’s what we need in order to be successful in a mainstream classroom.

Having a support system is something that will guide the student with cerebral palsy throughout the rest of their time in the classroom and also in the community. Trust me, it will go a long way in the student’s life and it will leave a fingerprint.

So just enjoy the ride and continue being the best teacher that you can be. It’ll all be OK, best of luck to you this year!

With love,
From a former student with cerebral palsy

Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia/Getty Images

Originally published: August 17, 2020
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