From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

January 24

My very first teaching job was leading a vibrant group of four-year-olds. At the end of my first day, I was called to the director’s office. A parent wanted to enroll her daughter who was born with a birth defect that required she wear leg braces from the knees down.

That night my stomach was in knots. How could I take on a child with special needs?

The next day Kelly’s mother carried her daughter into my classroom and set her down on the edge of the carpet. After several days of carrying her to and from the yard, I asked Kelly if she would like to try walking down the hallway by herself.

The next day Kelly began her first journey and made it ten feet. Each day Kelly continued her slow walk down the corridor. I charted her progress with pencil marks on the wall. After several weeks she made it all the way to the yard.

When her mother brought her to school after her annual checkup, she asked if I’d been forcing Kelly to walk. Then she gently lifted Kelly’s dress to show me that her knee braces had been replaced with ankle braces.

Seema Renee Gersten

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