“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves”
~ Sir Matthew Barrie
I don’t know about you, but I believe in angels! They come in all shapes and sizes, both male and female. You can find them daily in the halls and classrooms of our schools. They are easily recognizable by the smile on their faces and the kindness they are rendering to others who are less fortunate.
Their job title is Special Education Para-professionals, but they are really Angels.
The dictionary defines an angel as a very kind and loveable person or a helping and guiding spirit. That certainly describes these employees. It takes a very special personality to give the care and attention needed by some of our most important students.
These young people are challenged in a myriad of ways ranging from physical disabilities to mental challenges, and often in a combination of both. These are wonderful children of God, sent to earth to teach us the attributes of Godliness.
Our para-professionals give unselfish service to these students each and every school day. They help the children with their studies, with their mobility, with their correspondence, with their bodily functions, and with their needs for nourishment. And without exception, they do all this with a smile on their face and a twinkle in their eye.
These people are such good souls and their assignment is a very difficult one. It takes patience, strength, more patience, and a lot of love.
Their work does not go unnoticed. Parents, teachers, and administrators appreciate their dedication. Most importantly, the students whom they serve appreciate them. These young people come to school knowing that someone is there that genuinely cares about them. They feel safe and welcome in their presence.
Often, learning for these students comes in small and slow increments. But over time, I have seen miracles occur. A child who is disruptive, easily distracted, and sometimes overly physical evolves into a mild young man with a smile on his face and the manners of a real gentleman. I’ve watched as a blind student regenerates from a cocoon-like life to an outgoing and confident human being. Another has been transformed from extremely limited mobility to a teenager who can eat and walk by himself.
Of course, most of the credit must be given to the will of the young person, but they have been encouraged and guided along the way by these wonderful para-professionals.
I want them to know how much they are appreciated. The ways in which they touch the lives of others have lasting effects and eternal positive consequences…what else would you expect from angels!