But my first day in first grade would end up teaching me a lesson, and continue to do so for the rest of the semester. I was used to having students with special needs, and I always adjusted accordingly so that every student feels included and productive during my lesson. In my last class of the day, I was introduced to a boy who was a four limb amputee. Realizing that most of my warm-ups utilized hands and feet, I was initially worried about him feeling excluded or not a part of the class. For the first time since I started working this job, I was worried.
Then, I talked to the students about being actors and how they could be anything they wanted as an actor. It was then when Tyler raised his arm and asked if he could be a superhero. I smiled the biggest smile and I told him, "Yes, but know that you're already a superhero in my eyes." Tyler smiled. He would go on to become one the strongest students in the class when it came to drama. He performed every character like it was Shakespeare, and helped his fellow students and encouraged them when they were struggling.
How often do we put limits on ourselves because of physical ailments? Tyler didn't let his handicap hold him back socially or physically. In our society today, we often come up with excuses as to why we can't perform to the best of our ability. But what needs to change is not our physical circumstances, but our psychological mindset. We have the power to change the world through words and actions, regardless of our state. Most importantly, I learned from Tyler that the only thing holding me back was myself.