Aug 10, 2010
For Wayne - Update
Update - This was Wayne's favorite quote:
"Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition, is yet to be developed." -Abraham Lincoln
A former student of mine died today. He was struck by a car and the injuries were too severe for his body to take. Wayne Campbell was his name. He was no longer a minor or a student of mine so I feel free to post openly about our shared, yet brief, journey.
Wayne came to me for after-school academic and college-readiness services. He wanted to go to Yale. However, on all IQ test and assessments Wayne scored 76, which placed him just barely above a label of Intellectual Disability, which use to be called Mental Retardation.
With that said, I never treated him like his dreams could not be possible, just focused on how to make what he has work for him and his goals.
Wayne's mind ran a mile in a minute within a fog. Wayne wanted to know everything, and do everything his heart desired. However, he was truly challenged with thought-processing issues that made it very difficult for him to follow sequences and generalize academic skills.
This reality did not stop Wayne from always having textbook, notebook and pencil in hand. He was determined.
This is also why I went off and called out some students not receiving special education services during summer school, that thought is was cute to take their abilities for granted and slack off.
Wayne required me to give patience and perseverance. He also taught me that I would not be a good teacher, if I did not always find new ways of creating learning moments that worked with the learning styles of my students.
Wayne challenged me during my very green moments of serving as a teacher to students receiving special education services. I've already winced and forgiven myself for my lack of expertise while serving him.
My two favorite memories of Wayne are as follows:
Wayne: Mister, how can a person make money without working?
Me: When you find out let me know!
This then lead to a conversation about the stock market and investing.
At the prom I see Wayne come in looking mad sharp (see picture above). He sang and danced. He was part of the mix. Wayne even bumped and grinded with a few of the ladies. Wayne was just one of the fellas.
Thank you Wayne. I won't miss you because I will always be aware of your spirt that will continue to teach me. I pray for peace to my young brother.