One of the things I enjoy about teaching is when students return to visit. Yesterday one of my favorite students came to visit me. Yes, I know teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but there are some kids that really touch your life and you can't help it. I never treated her any different in class than any other student, but secretly she was one of my favorite kids.
I had Shannon last year in Anatomy & Physiology- Honors. Shannon is an amazing young lady. She was ranked 7th in her class, a cheerleader, very intelligent, extremely nice, and very active in school. The weekend before the seniors last week of school, Shannon was in an accident. She was thrown from a golf cart and hit her head on the ground. She experienced a traumatic brain injury. The kids she was with were afraid they would get into trouble so they didn't call for help for several hours. When I found out, I was terrified for Shannon. This young lady was looking forward to college, she had been accepted into a nursing program, and now they didn't even know if she was going to be able to go to college at all.
I started sending Shannon emails on facebook and cards to her house. I figured that since I had gone through something similar it might help her out a little bit to know she wasn't alone. The highlight for me was when I saw her at graduation. She looked a bit dazed and out of it, but I got to talk to her and give her a hug and that's when I knew that she was going to be able to make it.
So yesterday Shannon came in for a visit. It was so nice to see her. She looked really good. She was able to go away to college, and her grades are great- although she is a little too hard on herself about them. We talked about head injuries and the things that we both find overwhelming and what we do to cope with them. She has a really positive outlook and I know she is going to make an amazing nurse when she is done. I am amazed that she was able to go away to college only 3 months after her TBI. I don't think I could have done that. So Shannon, you are an inspiration to me and everyone out there who lives with a brain injury. I am so proud of you! Please come visit again.