Until one Teacher comes .?

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

John was the name. He was eight years old. He could not read or write. He does not pass any exams or any class assignment. He has repeated one class for several years. He does not answer any question in the class. And no teacher even asks him. John was known to have known nothing.

He has learnt nothing and forgotten nothing. He could not identify words and letters. Parents are getting fed up with him. Classmates jeer at him. Teachers have also lost their patience with John. John was alone in the midst of his classmates. He' was in his own world alone. Yet John can draw. His language is drawing.

He speaks in his paintings. But no one could understand and interpret his paintings. John was dyslexic. John became more isolated. Nobody knows anything about dyslexia. No one tried to peep into John's world. He was one on his own. Almost frustrated he developed other attitudes. John became stubborn. He does not obey anybody.

He has lost all companions. John became really alone. John stopped painting. He literarily stopped speaking. Nothing gives him joy anymore. John contemplates suicide. But he lacks the courage. He was pressured in the brain. But at the brinks of his total collapse into anonymity and non-being, one teacher appeared. It was like an Angel of light in the darkness!

The teacher wondered why John was alone in the midst of others. He wondered why John does not seem happy in the class. The teachers observed that John was always alone. John could not answer any question in the class. The teacher wondered and asked further questions. The teacher took interest in John.

John could not believe that he could be appreciated. John opened up to the inquiring teacher. John took the teacher to the parents. The parents would not wish to discuss with the teacher in the understanding that nothing can be done in the case of John. John is almost gone and should be allowed to go. He cannot be made better so thought the parents.

But the teacher had other opinions. He believed that John has other chances. It is not yet over with John. The teachers asked John what he can do. John answered in painting. John began to draw himself with the parents and other siblings on the journey of life. John drew where their way parted. The parents were the first to part with him.

And gradually come other siblings. On the same way, John found himself alone marching without guide and care. Yet John marched on. John looked back and saw that he was alone. The teacher understood the language of John; the language of exclusion and abandonment. And the teacher discovered that John was not useless.

He was only dyslexic. And he began to appreciate John. He encouraged John in his area of competence; John can solve some practical problems, draw and paint wonderfully. John got instruments for his paintings from the teacher. John found a parent and a friend in the teacher. John grew daily in perfection in his area of competence.

As time goes on John discovered that among the great men and women of history who influenced the life of the modern man today are men and women who were dyslexic. Leonado da Vinci, in his great paintings was dyslexic. And so were the rest of men and women who had word impairments.

They did not feel handicapped, but contributed to the world civilization from their resources and skills. And so nobody has the last word about the other. We are differently gifted. We needed that single teacher in our life, that agent of light in the darkness of our lives, to lead us to that treasury which God has granted us but not yet very evident.

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