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Teaching Special Education

Forever Sunflower Friends

As a teacher of multiple disabilities children for over 25 years…the words to many of my poems came through inspiration as I watched their daily struggles…

Each and every letter I penned
Began in much the same way:
“On behalf of seventy special students today
Could you help and be a Sunflower’s Friend?”

For over the years, our numbers have grown
And now we need a place of our own.
A place where wheelchairs can come and go,
And fragile friends can swing to and fro.

A place to explore on hand and knee,
With things to touch when eyes cannot see.
Where trickling waters and fine white sands
Sift and flow over stiff, small hands.

A place where a special child can just be a kid.
To watch, to play, to dream at their bid,
With the sun in their faces, and the wind in their hair.
Unique gifts from God’s hand with so much to share.

Words seem so inadequate and somehow don’t relay
Just how very thankful we are to all of you each day.
For you truly caught our vision, you truly saw their need.
And now you will ever be forever Sunflower Friends, indeed!”

by CL Gillmore
Poem from the collection “Of Roots, Shoes and Rhymes”

Little Special Boy

Little did I know that a year or so ago
A little special boy would bring my life such joy.
He started out shy, but as the days went by
He worked his magic from the start and stepped into my heart.
“How’s your dog Stanley?” he’d say.  “And where’s your husband today?”
And I became his forever fan when he announced, “I’m Basketman!”
For me he had made each day so bright, a truly little sweet delight!
A shooting star from up above who trailed to earth to share his love.
And now he’ll always be a part of me and forever I will see
His sweet face, filled with joy, this little special boy.

Poem from “Of Roots, Shoes and Rhymes”

by ~ CL Gillmore

Hand In Hand We Can

At some point in time we all become teachers, mentors and friends who touch the lives and souls of those around us.

Hand in Hand We Can 

The numbered days of summer have quickly come and gone.
… It’s now time to join together and begin to think as one.
One in purpose and in vision for each child on us will depend,
To be not just the teacher, but a mentor and sometimes only friend.

Such an awesome responsibility is ours. Every minute of every day.
To challenge young minds, to mold and refine, as the potter with the clay.
To uncover the good, to instill self-worth, and a desire for life-long goals.
It’s the task of the teacher to find the method to touch their very souls.

Daily we walk along the familiar paths where former teachers passed
We feel their presence, dedication and love that somehow always lasts.
Their legacies have become a part of us, as we begin each new school year.
As gladly we share our love and joy for teaching, keeping them ever near.

It’s a huge task if anyone should ask, and many still fall by the way.
They work in isolation, depending on themselves for getting by each day.
But a teacher, who stays over the years, knows where the success began.
It came from colleagues and friends who believed that…hand in hand we can!

—From OF ROOTS, SHOES and RHYMES by C L Gillmore