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.


Reneé said...

How very sad, such a handsome young man. He may have had challenges but your description of him tells me that he was truly gifted. He was determined to make his mark in this world and the short time he was in it he most certainly did.

Kyle said...

Allan, it It sounds like he was determined to move froward in life, even though life had given him many challenges. I'm glad you posted his story here.

Anonymous said...

Always reading, Allan! Very sad, and he sounds like a good person.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now and all I can say is that your students are privileged to have a teacher like you.

Keep up the good work!


that girl said...

this is a beautiful sentiment to what sounds like a beautiful person. so nice that you picked up on the things that he taught you. nice memory.

(p.s. thanks for coming to visit - hope you return :)

lelocolon said...

Very touching. Indeed a very handsome fellow. Thanks for letting us know a little more about him.