STORIES
Teachers Heroes

Anne Sullivan

by Tati from San Diego

Helen Keller & Anne Suillvan (http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/keller/aa_keller_radcliffe_2.html (Bell, C.M. Photographer))
Helen Keller & Anne Suillvan (http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/keller/aa_keller_radcliffe_2.html (Bell, C.M. Photographer))

  "Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose - not the one you began with perhaps, but one you'll be glad to remember."-Anne Sullivan. Joanna "Anne" Sullivan was born on April 14, 1866, in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. Her parents were Irish immigrants, Thomas and Alice Chloesy Sullivan. She was born half blind. Anne's mother died when she was eight from her tuberculosis, an infectious disease that may affect almost any tissue of the body, especially the lungs, caused by the organism, which she had since Anne was born. Thomas Sullivan was an alcoholic; he would routinely beat Anne to try to subdue her headstrong nature. After Alice Sullivan died, Anne's father left his three kids to some relatives and went to Chicago, he was never heard from again. In 1876 Anne and her brother Jimmy were sent to Tewksbury Almshouse, which was a hospital for the immigrants that needed help and were too poor to take care of themselves. Anne wished to leave the place and get into a blind school in Massachusetts. She had heard that an investigation of Tewksbury was going to happen; Anne planned to beg the official state board to let her go. The state board official agreed to let her go to Perkins School for the Blind. Anne managed to become valedictorian of her class in 1886. In June 1892, Anne became a member of American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf. A true hero must be willing to sacrifice things in their life for others. A hero is someone who isn't afraid to take the lead. Who's willing to go the extra step to learn more. Anne Sullivan is a hero because she was independent, caring, and intelligent. She was strong-willed yet knew what it took to make a living.

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  Anne Sullivan went through many struggles in her life, however, it never stopped her from being the independent person she was. She was a driven person; she refused to give up even if she started doubting herself. Anne had been living at Tewksbury, she wanted to learn how to write and read."In 1880, allegations of mismanagement brought inspector Frank B. Sanborn to Tewksbury. Anne called out to him, got his attention, and told him she wanted an education. Sanborn helped to arrange Anne's admission to the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, Massachusetts"( Teaching Helen - Anne as Teacher (1886-1904). Anne wasn't afraid to go up to the big man and ask for a proper education. All through her life she had to fight for what she wanted. Anne was able to get above and beyond what was expected of her, considering she never went to school. Anne kept to herself while at Pekrins', she didn't have all the fancy things many of the other girls had. She was difficult since she had lived pretty much her whole life on her own. "At the age of 14, Sullivan soon found she was both socially and educationally far behind her classmates. Sullivan was humiliated by her lack of social skills when others learned she had never owned a comb, wore a nightgown, or held a needle. But Anne displayed greater maturity in some ways, having lived on her own. She hid her insecurities under a defiant attitude and showed little respect for her teachers"( Teaching Helen - Anne as Teacher (1886-1904). Anne learned at a young age that she had to do things her own way to achieve her goals/dreams in life. She pushed herself so she could be caught up with all her other classmates. Anne also fought for what she wanted; she had to become independent at a young age considering her father was always drunk and she had two younger siblings to look after. Anne Sullivan was an independent person, yet she was always caring towards people.

  Anne was a caring person; she enjoyed the company of Helen Keller. During the time they were together a strong bond was born between the two stubborn women. At the beginning, when Anne and Helen first met, Helen wasn't too polite, nice, or friendly. Helen was rather a spoiled brat. "P.S.--I didn't finish my letter in time to get it posted last night; so I shall add a line. Helen got up this morning like a radiant fairy. She has flitted from object to object, asking the name of everything and kissing me for very gladness. Last night when I got in bed, she stole into my arms of her own accord and kissed me for the first time, and I thought my heart would burst, so full was it of joy"( Teaching Helen - Anne as Teacher (1886-1904). After Helen's break through with the word water, Anne was pleased with the fact Helen was taking such an interest in learning the words of things. At the beginning Helen wasn't at all polite or civil with Anne; she was a brat in more cases than one. After many trials and errors, Anne seemed to break through to Helen. There has been many times when Anne and Helen were considered one person rather than two individuals."Her devotion to Keller was one of many factors that strained her marriage. Money was a major problem, as Keller's income was supporting the three of them. John Macy, like others, began to think of his wife as manipulative in her treatment of Keller. He couldn't deal with her temperamental moods, which only Keller seemed to be able to tame"( Teaching Helen - Anne as Teacher (1886-1904). Anne Sullivan was completely dedicated to helping Helen even though it put a strain on her marriage. She deeply cared for Helen. Anne and Helen were always caring for each other and kept in touch even in their later years. Anne Sullivan, a deserving hero. She was bright and intelligent, she even taught the younger kids before she left her school.

  Anne Sullivan was a valedictorian at Perkins School for the Blind. She tutored many younger kids that were in need of extra help at her school. She even taught Helen Keller how to read braille and sign language. Anne learned many useful skills at her school, like the manual alphabet and such. "One of the most important skills that Anne learned at the Perkins School for the Blind was the manual alphabet developed for deaf people. Each letter of the alphabet is formed with a different hand sign. For a person who is deaf-blind, words are signed into the palm of the hand. The person feels the movement of the fingers, which are surrounded by the listener's hand. The ability to sign into another's palm was a key part of Anne's later success in communicating with Helen Keller." (Teaching Helen - Anne as Teacher (1886-1904) Anne took the time to be caught up with all the other girls at her school. She had come in at the age of 14, knowing nothing and being taught for the first time in her life. But she was able to learn another way to communicate with other people through sign language and trying into people's hands. That skill in hand she was able to teach Helen. Anne worked every hard in her lifetime; she was intelligent and helped inspire many blind people. "In June 1892, Anne was elected a member of the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf. In 1894, Alexander Graham Bell asked her to give a speech at an Association meeting"(Teaching Helen - Anne as Teacher (1886-1904). Anne was and is still highly recognized for all her hard work when it comes to teaching someone to speak and sign and read. Anne helped make the hall of fame for doing so much for Helen Keller and the Blind/Deaf community. Anne is an inspiration to us all, showing the world them they can accomplish anything if they try hard enough.

  Anne worked really hard to accomplish all the things she did. She really is a hero for her independence, caring for others, and intelligence. Anne went through many rough patches in her life, but she managed to get through all of them. She was independent from the start; knowing where she wanted to go and when. "Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose - not the one you began with perhaps, but one you'll be glad to remember"(Anne Sullivan). Although she was also a caring person: more times than one Anne put Helen's needs before her own. Being able to learn all the sign language and other things just proves how intelligent she was. "I need a teacher quite as much as Helen. I know the education of this child will be the distinguishing event of my life, if I have the brains and perseverance to accomplish it" (Anne Sullivan). Anne helped Helen a lot in her studies, signing what the teacher was saying to Helen. Anne was such an inspiration to deaf people around the world. After her breakthrough with Helen, many teachers felt as though they could help other deaf kids understand. Anne Sullivan was an inspiration to all, moving through tough situations and always looking towards the brighter side of things.

 

 

Tati Ossa

Mrs. Young

HSE:2 Per. 2

11 May 2012

Works Consulted

 

Anne Sullivan href="http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=b6h&AN=27455268&site=brc-live

"Anne Sullivan Macy - Chronology." Anne Sullivan Macy - Chronology. 2009. Web. 8 May 2012. .

Anne Sullivan Macy." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Vol. 20. Detroit: Gale, 2000. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 8 May 2012.

"Anne Sullivan Macy." U*X*L Biographies. Detroit: U*X*L, 2003. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 8 May 2012

"Teaching Helen - Anne as Teacher (1886-1904)." Teaching Helen - Anne as Teacher (1886-1904). American Foundation for the Blind, 2009. Web. 09 May 2012.<http://www.afb.org/asm/asmgallery.asp?FrameID=98>.

 

 

Page created on 5/24/2012 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/24/2012 12:00:00 AM

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