I am very fortunate to work at a fantastic elementary school, with the most awesome staff members. My job of working with advanced learners, K through 6, gives me the opportunity to go beyond the regular classroom work. For the past two years my third grade groups learned about Helen Keller. They were all impressed with what Helen Keller went through, and how she overcame her many challenges.
This year we went on a mini fieldtrip to another classroom at our school. We had the privilege to visit the Functional Needs classroom. The Functional Needs class has children who are blind, deaf, or other challenges. The kids got to explore books that were written in braille, including a favorite one by Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, use a braille machine, hold and use a white cane (the walking stick that blind people use), participate in the morning meeting with the students in the class and of course ask questions. Along with my students, we were very impressed and awed by everything we saw and experienced.
When we left the room, my students couldn’t wait to go back to their homeroom classes to share with their classmates what they had just experienced. To these kids, Helen Keller became a hero and the special needs students at our school also topped the chart of heroes. They also gained a bigger understanding of the challenges some people have and how they have overcome them or striving to.
I can guarantee that my students will never forget the day when Helen Keller came to life for them. I can’t wait to do this again this coming school year!