Sometimes I am a little quiet. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand. I really love it when a teacher will talk to me and not about me.
School is hard work. Very hard work. I love it when a teacher can see I am getting frustrated and will make me laugh or just give me a break.
I like to try things. A lot of times, teachers decide that I can not do something before they even know me. I love it when a teacher will give me the chance to show what I can do. Just a chance. It matters.
I just cannot sit at a desk hour after hour. I need to move. ♫ It helps me think. I love it when a teacher will let me get up and move.
I do not like to answer a lot of questions. But when a teacher has to ask me a question, I love it when they give me enough time to answer.
I love it when a teacher will help me make friends with other students. School can be really lonely without a friend.
When a teacher says “You’re not paying attention, or You’re not listening, or You’re not focusing,” it makes me feel bad about myself. So I love it when a teacher will say, “You got this, Abe.” Or, “I understand,” or “I am here to help you.” It makes me want to try even harder.
I love it when teachers assume I can do something before they assume I can not do it.
I love it when a teacher knows what is important to me. In high school, Mrs. Garcia knew that starting Best Buddies in New Mexico was really important to me, so she became the teacher sponsor. It meant a lot.
And the number one thing I love about teachers is
They help me achieve my dreams. I am so thankful for every teacher who helped me go for my dreams.
So, that’s it. That’s my top ten list. It’s a lot about me. But today is not about me. It is about you. Will you be a teacher who will hurt, and make fun and not give students like me a chance? Or, will you be a teacher that will listen and help and encourage students like me? What kind of teacher are you? What kind of teacher will you be? Please think about that today.
Down syndrome self-advocate, Abe Assaad. is a first year student at Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell. Abe is a regular speaker on behalf of Special Olympics and Best Buddies and has participated in advocacy efforts at the state and national levels. Abe has aspirations of becoming a personal trainer and maybe even owning his own gym someday.