To my teachers reading my blog today:
Today is the first birthday of Veronica With Four Eyes. It’s the website that I created to share my life with vision impairment and assistive technology. On this blog, I have written almost daily about my experiences going through school, attending college, and navigating through life with four eyes and a blindness cane. It has become a resource for people from all over the world, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
And for that, I thank you.
What a great teacher looks like
Going through public school, I learned what a great teacher looks like. It’s someone who embraces all types of students, maybe without realizing they are doing so:
- During my freshman year, my geography teacher followed my IEP when many other teachers didn’t.
- My geometry teacher turned a class that terrified me into one of the best math classes I have ever taken.
- My computer teachers in elementary and high school encouraged me to advocate for students with low vision.
- And how could I forget my band directors who helped me adjust to life with a chronic illness?
The less than ideal teachers
There are some teachers who, maybe for reasons out of their control, were not able to follow my IEP in the classroom. I used to imagine how someday I would reveal all of the things these teachers did and how much things would change if/when I did that. I wanted everyone to read about what had happened and make a change. But negativity is not the way to do that.
My mom always told me that the best revenge is living well. I should not use my blog as a platform for bashing teachers, or speak negatively of them in general. The truth is, I learned so much from these less than ideal classroom environments.
- I may not remember what books I read at which time in English, but I do remember learning how to create my own accessible materials from my desk.
- In Spanish class, my main memory is learning all about accessible textbooks and how to get them.
- And I can’t forget the teachers who pushed me to take classes virtually, so I could be in an environment where everything was accessible.
I like to think my blog would be less exciting if I hadn’t gone through these experiences, or the blog might not even exist at all. I hope that these teachers reading my blog know how much they helped me learn about assistive technology.
- Ten Spooky Inaccessible Assignments and How To Fix Them
- How To Buy Digital Textbooks
- How To Transfer To A Virtual Class Mid-Year
So to all of the teachers reading my blog, thank you for the influence you have had on me over the years. I have never forgotten how you treated me, and you inspire me every day to continue to write and help others. Thank you for helping a quiet student with glasses transform into a strong advocate for those like her.
Class of 2015