"Lori was her first student and arguably the student in which Hayden had the most
connection. She was in first grade and came into her class originally as a resource student. Lori
was struggling with reading, and after some research, Hayden had learned that Lori experienced
a traumatic brain injury from her abusive father, which left her unable to learn and read on her
age-appropriate developmental level. After being put up for adoption, Lori found a new, loving
family that cared for her and her twin sister, who did not receive as bad of injury as Lori. Shortly
after finding her new home, her adoptive mother died of cancer, leaving the family heartbroken.
Through all her struggles as such a young girl, Lori had the happiest spirit. She was caring and
always bubbly. She could always point out the bright side in any situation. After so much
struggle with her regular teacher and reading, Lori was exhausted in the subject of reading.
Knowing mentally that Lori might never read, it left Hayden with a battle inside herself. She felt
conflicted because of the pressure from the teacher and principal to make her read, and still
having to see first hand the emotional stress it was causing Lori.
That afternoon when Lori ran into her classroom, saying “I brung you something!", it
brought a smile to Hayden's face. Looking at the picture Lori handed her, it was a drawing of a
blue bird with black wings and yellow legs. While it was abstract and not perfect, she could still
tell that the bird was happy. Lori exclaimed to Hayden that it was the best picture she had ever
drawn and that she used her favorite crayons. She explained that she stayed inside the lines and
that it was the best thing she had ever done. Lori then explained that it wasn't as good as a
photograph and no matter how hard she tried, it wasn't perfect. After Hayden reassured her that it
was beautiful just the way it was, Lori corrected her. “No, no, that's not what I'm saying. It isn't
right because that wasn't the way I wanted to draw it. It wasn't perfect, like I wanted it to
be...What I was thinking was that it is perfect. Not the part you see but what's inside you. In my
head, I could see this bird perfect...and that's sort of enough for me to like this picture even
though it isn't really very perfect. Because...I know it could be....Things never really are perfect”
She said “But inside you, you can always see them perfect, if you try. That makes things
beautiful to me.” (154-155).
What Lori said is a very important life lesson that everyone needs to hear at some point in
their lives because often, as human beings, we tend to lack the ability to see things from a
different perspective. When I think about becoming a Special Education Teacher, I want to be
reminded of what sweet Lori had said that day. In all aspects of life, things are not perfect. No
matter how hard you can try, sometimes it just doesn't go the way you wanted. It doesn't always
go your way and it doesn't always turn out the way you planned, but there is beauty in that. There
is beauty in this imperfect world and despite all the negativity, the badness, the pain and the
suffering, there is still beauty. There can still be happiness and joy. Life is still beautiful. All youhave to do is look. And as a teacher, it's my job to find it."