• What a beautiful story Susan. It kicked my memory back to the one and only year I taught third grade. And one particular boy. Did you have the experience of teachers of the previous year “reviewing” with you each student they had in their class that you had in theirs? I hated that. I only taught one year and then we were off to Turkey for my husband’s Air Force assignment. But like you, a lesson or two (LOL) in that short time. Thanks.

    • I didn’t know you taught third grade? That is cool. I so agree with you Patricia, I hated that too. 🙂

  • Good story Susan. Everyone thrives with different stimulation , and finding the right one for some people can be tough. Finding our way (:-)) is not always easy, but worth working through the difficulties.

    • Thanks A.K. I agree, when we’re able to find the right situation, it’s a wonderful thing. 🙂

  • Pat Ruppel

    I can see that, Susan. It works much better when you live and work from where you’re most comfortable. He was fortunate to have a teacher like you who looked for resolutions and didn’t force the issue. Lessons for us all, for sure.

    • Hi Pat, Thank you for your kind words. I did try to be the best I could be. It isn’t any easy thing to discover at time but it is so worth the end the result.

      • Pat Ruppel

        You’re welcome, Susan, and you’re right. That’s all we can do is our best. We never know who will be touched along the way. It sounds like Bren definitely was. 🙂

        • We sometimes think if it’s not perfect, that it isn’t good or has little value. Trying has great value, more then we give it credit and in trying it can lead to great things… I’m rambling… LOL.

          • Pat Ruppel

            Haha – ramblin’? Love it, Susan. Sometimes, it’s the best way to get there. There’s a lot of truth to what you say as long as we keep working at it. 🙂

          • 🙂

  • What a great story. A few times over the years, I can remember students whose various issues had gone unnoticed. I’m even more impressed that you were able to follow-up and keep tabs on him 🙂

    • Thanks Jeri, I’l bet you did and Ill bet you have a few sorries of your own. For me I just wanted to make sure it was a good decision on my part. I’m so glad I did. 🙂

  • Jacqueline Gum

    What a great story… It is my sincere hope that we still foster teachers who dig a little deeper to find the right fit. Bren was a lucky guy..he had you to help him nurture a dream. Kudos…and I love the drawings too.

    • I do too Jacquie. We overlook how important a teacher is in the lives of our young minds. To many good ones are leaving the profession for the lack of fostering and encouragement.

  • What a great story and I admire what you did Bren.. I do obedience and agility with my dog Roxie. Roxie is excelling in obedience and agility not so much. It finally came to me that just because I want it doesn’t mean my dog wants it. That is when I realized not everything fits into the same round hole. I know I am using my dog as example but it applies to everyone.

    • Aw, thanks Arleen, That is a great story. I agree with you, the lesson applies to many things in our everyday lives.

  • That is too sweet, I, too, was put in 1st grade too early & was a lot like Bren. You must have been such an inspiration for all your students, & how awesome he is indeed in the racing field!!

    • That’s interesting Mary, so was I! Maybe that’s why I understood the challenge that represented for Bren. I so loved that he continued to follow his young passion. 🙂

  • Great story and lesson Susan. I loved it as I do love every story with a lesson. You did well to have that light bulb moment and deep inside, you know that his success is very much linked to your recognizing something in that moment.

    • Thanks Welli. As you can tell, so do I. I was also fortunate to have a good principal there to support me, and to help with getting Bren’s parents to see the logic. 😀

  • I love reading your teacher stories. You obviously have a gift, both for teaching and for storytelling. Glad to hear little Bren was able to go on and do what he most wanted to. I think it’s a great lesson that just because someone is in the wrong place for them at the time, doesn’t mean they aren’t able to be successful given the right chance.

    • Aw thank you Meredith. Your kind words warm my heart. I agree, I find I need to remember that for myself from time to time. 🙂

  • How wonderful that you watched him, saw there was an issue, followed up, and helped with a solution! If only all kids with issues had a solution like another school at another level … great storytelling once again, Susan.

    • Thanks Leora, It was a great thing for me to learn early on as a teacher, that there are solutions… if we look for them. 🙂

  • Debra Yearwood

    I love this story. It makes you pause and think about those times when you don’t connect with people, maybe there’s a reason we just haven’t figured out yet. Gives you hope.

    • Hi Debra, It makes me so happy that I’ve able to do that. I agree, it does give me/us a sense of hope on a number of levels. 🙂

  • Cheryl Therrien

    I have had my share of ‘Ah ha!’ moments too. The important thing is to learn from them. Well done my friend. 🙂

    • What would we do without our aha moments Cheryl? We simple wouldn’t learn the lessons we do. I know that’s certainly true in my case. 😀

  • Jon Jefferson

    I’ve always been one of those people that doesn’t really fit in with any of the groups I am with at the time. It seems my life has been a never ending stream of these ah ha moments.

    • I think we all feel that at times Jon, so you’re certainly not alone. As for me, I would say the same, I too have a constant stream of aha moments… LOL.

  • As Henry Adams famously said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” I believe that. I had a wonderful kindergarten teacher who made class so joyful. Then there was my 8th grade English teacher who introduced me to the opera, my high school social studies teacher and finally my college English professor, who probably influenced me most of all. Each left an indelible mark on my life for which I am forever grateful.

    • I had forgotten that quote Jeannette. Thanks for the reminder. You were so very lucky to have had such great teachers along the way. It does make all the difference. 🙂

  • Niekka McDonald

    This is great! I often feel this is what should happen in the workplace. Most managers do not pay attention to what would help the employee thrive and grow. You helped Bren to thrive by finding a solution that was right for him. Finding those type of solutions are very important and it takes patience, caring and pay attention.

    • I agree Niekka, It does take time, patience and a commitment to helping others succeed. When we do we all win. 🙂

  • Sue Hines

    Powerful story! How often we “settle” or “make do” when we are really out of alignment. It takes a great mentor – in the form of friend, teacher or parent – to help us recognize when this path is not truly ours. True, sometimes we can re-align ourselves, but if the symptoms we are experiencing are strong enough, it is usually a good indication that it is time to change. Thanks for this reminder.

    • Boy Howdy, the phrase “If the symptoms are strong enough, as you said, it usually means it’s time for a change” is so true. I love that. Thanks so much for adding to the conversation Sue. 🙂

  • How lucky Bren was to have you as a teacher. So often we tag these children as ‘problem kids’ when in reality there is a bigger issue at stake. So glad for you and Bren you had your aha moment.

  • Eve Koivula

    What a lucky little fellow having you around Susan!

    My friend who is a teacher told a story about her colleague who hesitated to put her own son to school. Here in Finland it starts at the age of 7, but if you’re born late in the year, you can postpone it to the next autumn.

    He would have had that chance, but since he was so bright and he knew how to read and write and all that already, only very tiny and physically delicate, he started school “in time”.

    Everything else went just perfect, except every Friday morning he woke up his parents saying “It’s weekend already!” – and broke his mother’s heart every single week being forced to go to school that day.

    4 days a week he was an A student, but for him that was exhausting enough, he would have needed 3 days to recover.

    This went on for months, but as he grew bigger and stronger that winter, things got easier.

    Just a story I remembered when I read yours.

    • Hi Eve, Thanks, I loved your story. It certainly points out that we all are different ,with different needs. 🙂

  • Bola

    What an inspirational teacher Susan. Lovely story!