To the devoted teacher, personal tutor, professor, parent or anyone who has dedicated their time to patiently and selflessly nurture and impart knowledge into young minds, thank you.
Helen Keller’s personal tutor changed her life
The inspirational story of Helen Keller has been featured in many plays and films because of what she was able to achieve regardless of overwhelming obstacles. Helen Keller truly was an amazing woman, but her accomplishments were made possible because of the dedicated instruction of her personal tutor, Anne Sullivan.
The beginning of a life-long companionship
As a young child Helen suffered from a severe illness that left her blind and deaf. She was unable to speak or communicate effectively and it was difficult for her parents to control her behavior. Her parents did not know what to do with her, so they hired Anne Sullivan to be her live-in personal tutor. Because Anne Sullivan was blind as a child and then was able to partially regain her sight she understood some of the challenges that Helen faced.
Developing a unique form of communication
Anne Sullivan was able to work with Helen to develop a way of communicating by making signs in the palm of her hand while allowing her to feel the object that corresponded with the sign with the other hand. This was not easy to do and it took time and patience for Sullivan to endure with Keller through much frustration. In this way, over time Helen was able to communicate not only with her personal tutor but also with others. She was even able to read lips with her hands and she learned how to speak based on feeling the vibrations of the vocal chords.
Going on to do great things
With the constant support of her personal tutor, Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller went on to higher education and eventually made history as the first blind and deaf person to ever graduate from University with a degree. After finishing her education, Keller became a writer, a public speaker and a women’s rights activist. Through most of these accomplishments Anne Sullivan remained by her side as her loyal supporter and companion until her death in 1936. Keller continued to inspire the world until her own death in 1968. Her inspiring story continues to be remembered through the play and film titled “The Miracle Worker” that are both based on her autobiography.
A great teacher or personal tutor must possess patience, endurance and faith in their students
The reason why this story of Helen Keller’s personal tutor is so inspiring for many of us is because we may have had a dedicated teacher or personal tutor who made a difference in our life. All life-changing educators share the same characteristics of endurance and never giving up on even the most difficult students. Perhaps you had a teacher who believed in you and worked with you until you achieved a new skill that you never thought was possible. They encouraged you even when you felt you wanted to give up.
Where would you be today without that one teacher or personal tutor who believed in you?
What if Helen Keller’s personal tutor, Anne Sullivan had given up on her because the task of educating a young blind, deaf girl was too difficult? Where would you be today without that childhood teacher who helped you work through your reading disability and caused you to love reading or that crazy science professor who inspired you to pursue your career in scientific research? It is because of these instructors who have spent their lives helping others become the best they can be that we can now say that anything is possible.