Have you ever experienced a situation in your life, when you have thought you can’t make it but someone was there by your side who believed in you? The difference this person has made in your life by always encouraging you, believing in your ability and nurturing your untapped potentials ultimately helped you reach heights which you never dream you could.
Three years ago, while searching for a suitable school in the city for our son who was very much delayed in his speech, we came across a school which seemed the right choice for him. When we met the Principal and the facilitator of the school, we explained our son’s speech delay and we hesitated to ask if they could give him admission to their school. But they lovingly welcomed him in and assured us that he will improve as he begins his schooling. Their words felt so soothing to our worried minds and we left the school feeling a bit relaxed but at the same time wondering how things would be for him in the school…
He began his schooling facing many obstacles initially as he wasn’t able to keep up with the other kids in learning and doing other activities. He couldn’t talk like other kids did, couldn’t understand what is being taught and couldn’t adjust to the school atmosphere even after 6 months. We were worried about him. Many times, we thought to discontinue his schooling and send him to a special needs school. It was very frustrating time for us as we couldn’t give enough attention to him because of our daughter’s health issues.
This ugly duckling wasn’t fitting in and this thought always brought tears to my eyes. His limitations were making him act in a bad way – throwing tantrums, pushing other kids and falling on the floor. Most of the time, he wouldn’t even eat his lunch box and stayed hungry during school hours. Sending him to school and bringing him back became very stressful for us. When he would come from school, I would ask his Dad if any teachers had any complaints about him or were they asking us to send him to another school? Tension always hovered over my head.
But things began to change slowly over a period of time. In the later years, we were getting more good reports than bad ones. His school performance was improving. His hidden skills were showing up. He was improving in all the activities and most of all he was becoming very excited about going to school. He could make few friends, He was able to communicate with teachers, was able to follow instructions and was able to participate in sports and dance. Moreover, he felt accepted.
These changes were only possible, because his class teacher believed in him. She didn’t give up even though we felt like giving up our hopes. She made all efforts to help him in all the areas. With her gentle but firm discipline, she encouraged him to read, write, eat and participate in all activities like other kids. She encouraged us to support him. The only words she had for him were: “Asher is a brilliant boy”. Every time, she would be so happy to share about his improvement, his spoken words, his talent and his reading skills. Even though she knew the challenges he had, she was very patient, understanding, supportive and loving. She was a silent corrector and a loud encourager which helped Asher to come out of his shell, to learn, to grow and to be happy being all he is.
Today is his last day of School. I don’t know if he will have the memories of these three years spent in this school as he grows up or if he will remember his teacher who made a big difference in his life. But one thing I am sure about is the seeds of confidence which his teacher has sown in his life will definitely yield good results. When he goes to the new school, where his favourite teacher will not be seen but I pray and hope “someone” will be there for him who will continue to cultivate those seeds and believe in him.
Isn’t it amazing that God brings people into our lives who believe in us and stand by ourside? They might be our teachers, leaders, family members, friends or colleagues. They help us go forward, overlooking our weaknesses and encouraging our strengths. Their words give us positive energy, a new perspective and a confidence to believe that there is still a hope. They are always trying to bring out the best in us. They are indeed a beautiful reflection of God’s love for us. Let’s be thankful to Him for placing them in our lives.