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When Our Physical Education Teacher Taught My Daughter an Unexpected Lesson

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When my daughter, Natalie, was in second grade, she was still unable to say her name. She’d pronounce it “NaNaNee.”

For the past couple of years, I’ve had to hear several teachers tell me they struggle to get her to say it right. One day, I went to help out with a class party in Natalie’s mainstream class. In the middle of the party, her then DAPE (developmentally adaptive physical education) teacher, Nancy, came in and asked me to follow her and Natalie.

She took Natalie to a staircase and showed me how my daughter could now correctly climb them. I was thrilled. But that wasn’t the most amazing part.

Nancy told Natalie to show me the big surprise. Natalie climbed the stairs, one foot at a time, and said a syllable of her name on each step… “Nat, A, Lee. Nat, A, Lee.”

She could say her name!

It was amazing, and it wasn’t long before she could say it without the steps. It just goes to show you that you never know who is going to teach your kids what.

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Originally published: February 16, 2015
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