There a saying that “ignorance is bliss,” meaning what you don't know can't hurt you.

Well, in a nutshell, that was my education when I was growing up: full of ignorant educators. When i mentioned in my last piece, becoming an adult in the 80's and 90's was sometimes very challenging after i was the only child with any type of physical disability in my community. I finished up teaching those who should have been teaching me simply because they were so ignorant about teaching someone they did not understand.

My family instilled in me that all you do in life is a teachable moment, whether someone is teaching me, or I'm teaching someone.

I see my very existence as a teachable moment.

My teachable moment started at this type of young age that teaching others had become the normal for me. Between 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, at the beginning of every school year, I'd go into my homeroom with my physical or occupational therapist and talk about how even though I was somewhat different on the outside, I was just like other kids inside. I was a kid who could do all of the “kid things,” but only by myself timeline. I just remember how hard it had been to stand in front of those classes. Ultimately, though, it helped a lot because, for the most part, the other kids treated me like one of these.

I personally got along with the boys better than the girls because as a girl, there have been situations I just didn't feel that I fit into because of my cerebral palsy. Nowadays, I still feel by doing this at times. On the other hand, I should have stood while watching educators with my therapists and said excitedly not be ignorant about my disability. There have been teachers who didn't want me in their classrooms because they didn't see the point of me being there.

They didn't think I was teachable.

This did get me down, but when you know me, you know that I don't stay down for too long. Every time something like this happened, my parents would say that the biggest disability I would have to overcome is ignorant people, and boy, were they right! The educators also didn't want me in the lunchroom because of way my cerebral palsy helped me chew.

By the end of my 5th grade year, the teacher who didn't think I had been teachable had a change of heart since i taught her a lot. We learned that we had the same birthday, and that we ended up being good friends. Nowadays, she's my Facebook friend, and whenever she's in the area, we meet up for lunch.

In the end, I wasn't only proud because I was an honors student.

I was proud because I educated those ignorant educators. I showed them that my cerebral palsy didn't mean I wasn't teachable or smart and that they had to take the time to learn how to teach me. My intelligence always shocked the educators enough where, at the end of the year, they would show up my family and I and say “Thank you. Having her within my class made me a better educator.”