Facing the challenge

Facing the challenge & overcoming circumstances

Imagine, for a minute, you are a ten year old student who doesn’t read well, is in fifth grade, and is struggling with academics, emotions, and fear of the unknown for eight hours a day at school. Imagine being given assignment after assignment, being told to read material, and feeling the angst of not knowing how day after day. Imagine, for a second, how the struggle of defeat day in and out felt for a student in your classroom or school now.

I was that student in fifth grade. I remember that gut wrenching feeling of failure and shame of not really knowing how to read well day in and out. I was tested in elementary school but didn’t really fit the mold of the ranges to be a person with a specific learning disability at first. Through the tears, the worries, the fears, and the trials, my parents didn’t give up. I, on the other hand of ten, wanted to badly.

Days and nights of frustration filled my soul. The lack of confidence, since I didn’t know how to read, engulfed me. I struggled. I needed support and I had just that when I hit rock bottom. My family chose to go outside of the district to have me diagnosed since the school district didn’t and, at that time, found out that I learned slower than peers my age, had Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Specific Learning disabilities, and a slew of other issues. Finally, an answer to the struggles.

These labels didn’t define me though. They give me a reason to fight back along the way. The labels gave me a reason to understand why I learned differently and struggled. The labels and struggles opened the doors for the support I desperately needed. Looking back, I wish the school district would have intervened earlier or had helped sooner. However, this fuels my fire to continue to face the challenge of learning disabilities and barriers along the way.

It took one person to say what I was going through wasn’t okay. It took a team of professionals one opportunity to recognize that what I was going through needed to be remedied. It took time, lots of patience, tutoring, and more patience to allow me to read and be able to understand what I read.

However, no one gave up on me and, for that, I am truly grateful for this notion. There were long hours, frustrations, tears, and struggles. The struggles didn’t magically go away as I encountered middle and high school as well as college. I just learned strategies and self advocacy along the way. I now serve a Special Education teacher. However, the struggles gave me fuel to help others so no one would have to sit in my fifth grade seat and feel like I did to this day.

Fuel the fire (1)

There is always a reason for a trial. Whether we know it now or have to find it along the way, it’s there. It’s unending, undefined (at the moment), and untamed. However, there is a reason somewhere along the way. I never want any student to ever go through what I did and this empowers me to fuel the fire, kindle the flames, and never give up on any student. They deserve more than I received and that’s why I do what I do every day.

 

 

It gets really real when…

Houston and the surrounding areas are being devastated by Hurricane Harvey’s destructive and wet path as the days move on slowly. Hundreds of tornado warnings have sounded over the past 72 hours, flooding is up to doors, and hope is dwindling as the next band of storms dumps more water on an already saturated and flooded area.

In the past 48 hours, I’ve seen a man be voluntarily evacuated with his dog, Blackhawk helicopters flying low around my area, watched many rescues, and seen so much heartache. Harvey isn’t done yet and there’s already so much pain and destruction surrounding our areas.

It gets very real quick when the National guard is in your city as are Black Hawk helicopters flying low. The Cajun Navy arrived yesterday and the outpouring support that is being brought in by other cities and states is overwhelming. It also gets real when when trucks are pulling boats and schools are being used as evacuation shelters.

Hurricane Harvey is not done yet but I ask of you to send good thoughts and prayers to the thousands of people that are being affected by this massive flood and hurricane remnants. No one could have predicted the stalled path Harvey has taken or the amount of rain he would dump on Texas. However, we as a community of supporters, must band together and send well wishes to all involved. Many are weary (myself included) and I ask for only good thoughts, well wishes, and prayers to those affected by this mess.

When tragedy strikes

Hurricane Harvey hit land on Friday, August 25, and caused devastation in and around its path. The intense winds, tornadoes, and flooding have devastated the coastal South of Texas for much of the weekend.  Homes have been damaged, buildings demolished, and the rain keeps pouring down.

Schools have been cancelled in and around Houston for the week ahead. My own district just 28 miles west of Houston is out for the next week. The constant and repetitive tornado warnings are overwhelming. The flooding around Houston is devastating, and the fears of rising waters around the Houston and surrounding areas are substantial.

The rising water and flooding is causing very real fear for what’s next in the areas Harvey has directly affected. The fact that Harvey has stalled over the Houston area is not helpful. However, I can only be grateful to be safe and dry as so many are not. So many around us have more devastation that I do and, for that, I am grateful.

When tragedy strikes, the fears are real. The worry surrounds so many and the destruction is devastating. Tragedy affects so many in different ways. So many people are struggling by this one storm. This one storm has caused so much destruction and it’s not over. Tragedy affects so many in different ways. So many people are struggling by this one storm. This one storm has caused so much destruction and it’s not over.

My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Harvey’s path & destruction that they are affected by. Hurricane Harvey is devastating but there is hope to rebuilt and to move forward once it is over.