I’m doing great
This evening at the school for the blind, I was walking the halls. Making sure all my students ended up where they were supposed to, Then, I met a student in the hall.
They were new to the school. Some at the school would refer to them as “a total”. That means that they are totally blind. Even though it’s called the “school for the blind”, it doesn’t mean that all of the students are completely blind. Only a small fraction of them are.
As I passed them in the hall, they were struggling with their coat. Their cane kept dropping out of their hand. They weren’t able to trail the wall very well because of all this.
We’ve been sensitized not to help them all the time. They are in a very controlled environment. We ensure that they don’t get hurt. But, the goal is for them to begin to figure life out for themselves. Things like how they act, how they dress, how they talk are all important parts of growing up in a sighted person’s world. That’s what we’re teaching them to do.
People looking in from the outside might not see it that way.
Our job as role models, youth leaders, and teachers is not to give them whatever they want. Our job is to challenge them to grow. There are many times that I’ll notice a student going down the hall. They’ll have a cane in hand, trying to get to where they’re going. Fifteen feet behind them is someone that’s trying to help them, without helping them.
It’s a fine line and it’s not always easy.
How do you do it? You try not to view the disability first. You look at the person. You look at what they can do. You try your best to work with that.
Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes we get it wrong. Regardless we always view what we did and try to improve. That’s what we all do. Except this is on a different scale.
I’d love to hear from you. Hit reply and let me know what you think.