Elementary Teachers & E.As
Updated: May 25, 2021
E.A. & Friend- Mrs. Gould
School: On Kyle’s first day of school and my first day meeting him, I can still remember him and his Dad, Colin coming through the door. I don’t know who was more nervous, Kyle or his Dad. Colin was pushing him in an umbrella stroller since Kyle was unable to walk. I took them down to the JK room, and I assisted him to the floor where Kyle crawled on his knees and sat down with his peers with a smile on his face. To me that’s what he had been waiting for; to go to school and to be with his peers.
Kyle loved sports! When he taught himself how to walk, he loved playing Hockey, Soccer and participated in all sports activities if he could and never stopped in the middle of the activities or complained that he was tired. He was a very good goalie, like Curtis Joseph—CUJO.
Kyle and I both loved Hockey! However, he’s a Leaf fan and I am a Habs fan, but we always respect when our teams play against each other! All his classmates were great with him and always helped him if he needed assistance. He was always eager to learn and participate regardless of how long it took him to finish a task.
His Family and as an Adult: Where do I begin? Kyle is very lucky to have such caring, loving, and giving parents. Kyle has his mother’s looks and his father’s sense of humour. I loved to be around them and watch the love they had for their two boys. All they ever asked for Kyle was for him to have a little quality of life; that’s not much to ask for. I think his family and Kyle’s determination is what got him to where he is today. After he graduated from elementary school, we would continue to get together a few times a year. Also, I would attend many of his Sledge Hockey games and his brother Stirling hockey games.
Over the years, Kyle enjoyed listening to my Casino’s adventures and stories. He would say to me, “‘When I am of age, we’re going to the Casino together!” Guess I’ve inspired him with my Casino stories and now we often meet at the Casino, hoping one of us will win BIG!
I knew you could do it, Kyle!
Keep up the good work and don’t give up!
Grade Two Teacher- Mrs. Periversoff
There were some defining moments in my career as a teacher. And there was one class in particular that stands out for what it “taught me!” That class had its share of rambunctious Grade Twos with every kind of learning style. The intangible that made it one of my most memorable groups was the relationships the children had with one another.
I truly believe that the positive and accepting tone all sprung from one little boy. His name was KYLE. You see Kyle had a wide infectious smile spread over his whole face and just made you want to smile. He had great friendships with so many of his classmates long established by the time he had arrived in my class.
Kyle had a “can do” attitude that shone so brightly that it made all those Grade Twos want to do their best. I believe a lot of his confidence and positive spirit came from his parents Colin and Silvana.
It seemed to me that every lesson, group project and recess break was a cooperative adventure. Kyle made some life-long friends back then: his teachers, educational assistants, his classmates and their parents.
On paper, some children are referred to as Special Needs but that’s a misnomer. Kyle is just SPECIAL! You see Kyle is one of those rare people that bring out the best in others. He did that all year in my Grade two class.
What a gift that is!
French Teacher- Madame Mattina
While teaching at St. Teresa of Avila I met a boy named Kyle Scott. He had a trusty helper whose name is Mrs. Gould. Together they were a pair. She was bright, helpful and ambitious as was her student, Kyle Scott!
There was no mountain that they were not going to climb and no challenge that was too difficult for them. Kyle would light up like the sun when he was engaged in any activity and she would carry on like the human form of Hanuman, the dutiful monkey in Sanskrit teachings!
Kyle, it is no surprise that you have taken this path to share your journey with your challenges in your life. You were always curious, intelligent and wise. Your wit full and humble spirit is alive in your pen!
Best wishes to you as you open the page to allow the beauty of who you are!
Grade Four Teacher- Mrs. Mooney
The school year that you, Kyle, were in my class, my little school family spent our time together in a portable classroom. It was a few feet from the back door of the main school, St. Teresa of Avila. It had two wooden steps at the doorway; not always easy for you. The space was limited.
Nevertheless, I can picture exactly where you sat, on my left, with your EA . . . constantly with your helper. We attempted different things to assist with your learning. One idea suggested was tennis balls on the bottom of our chairs, meant to lower the noise distraction for you. However, tennis balls to nine-year-olds had a whole different meaning, and that is all I will say!
That was also the year that an asbestos scare and subsequent testing, sent our class indoors to conduct our learning in the gymnasium for a few weeks. At first, the boys, you included, had the notion that it would be all-day Phys-Ed! Everyone had quite the adjustment, but you all did great.
You, Kyle, were always smiling, always eager. You were especially eager to get outside and join in whatever sport our boys were playing. So with your helmet and your expectations of fair play, out to the schoolyard, you went. I remember your smile quickly disappeared when you came to tell us, that all did not go well for you. You could not get the words out fast enough. Your arms waved and your voice rose, as you attempted to get the problem across to me. You were determined that fair play be honoured. Your friends stood by you, giving you encouragement.
A lasting memory is the Christmas decoration you gave me, a small wooden fishing cabin. I tell anyone who will listen, about the year I taught Kyle Scott.
Grade Five Teacher- Ms. Cavarzan
Let me begin by telling you that I loved receiving your birthday wishes and bitmoji. That you thought about sending me emails and actually took the time to follow through to wish an old teacher a happy birthday on her special day was very touching and speaks volumes of your character, which I know to be fine and upstanding.
Let’s now move to the content of the message, and now try to put yourself in my shoes, those of a lifelong student and educator. The content and style of your first two messages are consistent with what my memory is of you. You were always very focused on learning and on getting things right, regardless of the time it took. This is my memory of you working closely with Mrs. Gould, who was and continues to be just awesome!
So . . . and here’s the Wow moment for me as an educator, twenty years after my student has left my care: When I received your well-crafted, lengthier email outlining his summer plans and request for my input for your memoir book, I was absolutely moved to tears. I know that you have finished high school and college and that you can do absolutely awesome things in all kinds of areas, but to actually be able to read your complete thoughts, to hear sentences from you in great detail, well this absolutely floored me. And I mean reduced me to a weeping puddle of joy. You have led me to review and re-evaluate my educational practice. You have made me see people living with CP, particularly those with what present with verbal skills which are difficult for the uneducated person to access, in an entirely different light.
As you are well aware, the effects of CP manifest themselves differently in each person, with some commonalities. Some have very apparent and easily accessible verbal skills while others are not so obvious to the untrained person. It is through these verbal skills, (ie. communication, that we get to know and build a relationship with another human being). When those skills are compromised, the “knowing and understanding” of the other person is equally compromised. I thought I understood some aspects of CP at the time I was teaching you, but I did not. I do remember spending time with you one on one, but it was not as frequent as I would have liked. I wish we had had the technology you have now at your fingertips, twenty years ago. Perhaps I could have done a better job for you. I believe your book will certainly open the eyes for those of us who fail to understand the thought process and intellect which is part of what makes you, you. I am so happy you are now authoring this book. It would be a wonderful addition to the world!
As for memories from 1999, they are very slim pickings, unfortunately, as I barely remember what I did yesterday. We have both lived an entire lifetime since then. Some of what I remember of our time together when you were in Grade Five, was that you were always smiling that great big toothy smile, as you do today. I remember Mrs. Gould saying you had a great sense of humour and you were sharp. I knew it and she saw it every day. I constantly saw you and Mrs. Gould laughing and wondered what the heck the joke was! Lol! You continue to be sharp today. I remember how you were very well-liked by your classmates. I also remember you paying attention in class and trying your best to get the academic tasks completed well. You never gave up! Now that I reflect and I understand a bit more about CP, you likely became physically and mentally tired after so much effort, but you never complained. You never tried to get out of doing things; you just did as much as you could, and then some, to get academic tasks completed.
I can remember you being upset and crying perhaps on one or two occasions, but I don’t recall why. You may have been sick one time, but you weren't often sick or away. Overall, my enduring impression of you is of a very happy person, a hard worker and a strong, upstanding citizen of the school with a high moral standard. Oh, and you did like your food.
Grade Six Teacher- Ms. Di Falco
When I was hired permanently that year and told I would be teaching Grade Six class. I was told that “this class was the best” and it doesn't get any better than this. I asked myself, “How can I, first-year teaching Grade Six be able to make sure that all their needs are met?” And not one minute of that year did I ever feel it would be less. There was so much that I learned from all of you. I was excited, nervous, scared because I was blessed with “the best.” Each one of your unique and special and I never doubted your limits.
Every week we played the “Survivor” game and all of you had to discuss why you should be nominated. You were all SURVIVORS, at the tender adolescence age, hormones and emotions that you have no control of or yet quite understood.
I remember how our game survivor was a success. Having the class nominate fellow students and then the students had to explain why they deserved it. It was more than just a game, it became a way of building our community and surviving all that tender age of eleven/twelve would bring. From the Passion play, our visit to Retirement home, a music project and of course the beautiful CD you all made for me as a reminder . . .The best class ever!
Sometimes there are certain things in life that limit us. It may be cultural, social, physical or mental but what is important is learning how to survive those limits and overcome them. This I witnessed in our class!
Grade Seven Teacher- Mr. Mauro
Before I do, I wanted to share something with you that I have never told you before. It is a little story of not judging a book by its cover.
This specific memory comes from my first week of teaching full-time at S.T.A. I had been there the year before on supply and had seen you briefly around the school, but you were a little junior division guy in grade four or five and had always been with the intermediates.
On my first day on yard duty, I was walking around making sure everyone was safe when I saw a massive soccer game going on in the middle of the yard. Ben, James, Steven, Mark, Turner, Ryan and pretty much the entire grade were blasting the soccer ball around the field. Then I looked closer and saw that you were in the net. I saw the boys taking hard shots and I must say, I was getting angry. How dare they put you in the net!? How could they be so cruel to this young boy?
I marched over to give them a piece of my mind, however, as I got closer, I realized that I didn’t have the correct perspective at all. They hadn’t put you in the net to try to get an easy goal, you wanted to play net. You were diving through the air to block shots. Your shirt and pants were grass-stained, but you got up each time after blocking a shot with the biggest smile on your face. Over and over, like a weeble. “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.” I learned something that day-Not to judge so quickly. Thanks, Kyle.
Trip to Ottawa:
I completely remember running around the side-accessible entrance. It was a cool morning, and the students were all shuffling in through the main doors and we wanted to catch up with them before anything could happen if they were left to their own devices.
When people talk about time slowing down, I can understand. As your wheelchair approached the curb there was a slight elevation, the wheelchair slammed into it like a snow shovel hitting the crack in the sidewalk. The back of the chair jammed into your Dad’s torso, and you shot forward like a circus acrobat being shot from a cannon. It is a good thing that you got out the way of your Dad, or he would have made a pancake out of you as he crash-landed. All of this happened in just a fraction of a second. If time had not slowed down, I have no idea how I could explain that I was able to reach over and grab the back of your shirt, keeping you from becoming a lawn dart.
The mornings were tough for some of the boys, and the scent of their rooms was even tougher on me. Hence my insistence on showers and deodorant. The particular morning you were talking about, I had already gone around to all of the rooms forty-five minutes earlier waking everyone up, or so I thought. We were on a tight timeline and needed to move everyone out and get to breakfast asap.
Ryan was, as I look back now, just awesome. If he was a paid actor, he could not have captured the scene as well as he had. I looked in the room and he had the meanest bedhead and zero desire to wake up. He was just curled up in bed, with the pillows and blankets all over the place. Three times I called his name from the door and he didn’t even budge. There was no choice, his roommates had tried, now I had to go in and get him up. As I approached the bed he seemed to stir, and then stretch, somewhere between a cat on a lazy Sunday afternoon and some wild jungle creature. He scrunched up his face and let out some inhuman sound that turned into some sort of a yawn. He blinked his eyes a few times and asked what time it was, and what all the noise was about.
What was it like having you and your classmates in my class?
It was a really good mix of kids, we had fun but got a lot of work done. Because we got so much done, we got to have even more fun. Back then I remember going home, marking for hours, and then planning or adjusting plans for the next day. I would wake up ready and excited to go in. You never knew what was going to happen.
When Ryan got the drinking cup stuck on his chin during our French—Canadian meal? I warned him, I told him what would happen . . . but did he listen. Nope, but we all learned something new, and we usually had a good laugh.
E.A.- Miss Joy
I met Kyle when I was working at his school. I came to know him as an enthusiastic young man with a great sense of mischief and humour. He also had an intense desire to participate in as many sports activities as he possibly could.
Kyle was always very determined to be part of the school playground sports and he particularly liked playing basketball with his peers during recess. There was one incident I will always remember. Kyle was out there, deeply involved in a basketball game, the ball came at him and he jumped up to catch it.
Unfortunately, his lower legs did not want to cooperate and they did not come out fast enough for him to land on his feet. Instead, he landed directly on his knees. Think of jumping off of an eighteen-inch platform and landing on your knees, not your feet, on asphalt. I was horrified and ran over to him. I couldn’t imagine the pain he was in, but all I saw was this incredibly strong young man, doing all he could not cry out in agony. We helped him get up and he continued to insist he was fine even though his face was white as a sheet. There was not one word of complaint or feeling sorry for himself. He just wanted to get up and get going.
Kyle continued to play basketball and other sports regardless of how difficult it was for him. The thing I learned about Kyle, and life that day, was that no matter what, he had incredible strength and determination to do the things he loved to do and I firmly believe that his tenacity has carried him into becoming the successful, gracious young man that he is.
You have always inspired me Kyle . . . just stay out of trouble!
Teacher- Mr. De Koning
Tenacious. Perceptive. Cheerful. Words I would use to describe Kyle.
We were part of the St. Teresa Of Avila School for a few years after I joined the staff. I observed his unmatched determination when he would frequently ditch his chair and walking aids to shoot hoops during recess or walk through the halls in sweat-soaked shirts. Kyle is always watching. He would set up his chair to see it all. He would be constantly amused by our behaviour and would regularly giggle at our conversations, even when we were not trying to be funny.
I wish I had the privilege of having Kyle in my class.