STORIES
Teachers Heroes

Anne Sullivan

by Haley from Dublin

To me, a hero is someone who does the right thing and never gives up. A hero should be determined, brave, confident, and willing to help others. A hero can sometimes work miracles. That is exactly what my hero did. She changed the life of one blind, deaf, and mute little girl, her family, and the world. Anne Sullivan is my hero.

Johanna (Anne) Sullivan Macy was born on April 14, 1866, in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. Her parents were Thomas and Alice Sullivan. They were poor Irish immigrants and her father often got drunk. When Anne was younger, she developed a bacterial infection in her eyes. It was never treated, and Anne became blind. When Anne was eight, her mother died. Two years later, her father left them and Anne and her brother Jimmie were sent to the state almshouse (poorhouse). Jimmie, who was born with a tubercular hip, a contagious bacteria, died soon after.

Sometime later, Anne enrolled in Perkins School for the Blind, where she was educated. There, she learned to read and write, and had some successful eye operations. Her eyesight improved a lot. Soon after she was educated, she was sent to be the teacher to six-year-old Helen Keller. Anne Sullivan was the reason Helen Keller could read and communicate with others. She was Helen's teacher for more than thirty years. Anne died in 1936, when she was seventy years old.

Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan (http://uploadwikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Helen_Keller_with_Anne_Sullivan_in_July_1888.jpg)
Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan (http://uploadwikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Helen_Keller_with_Anne_Sullivan_in_July_1888.jpg)

Earlier, I mentioned a hero should be determined. Anne Sullivan was more determined than anyone else I have heard about. She never gave up when Helen wouldn't cooperate. She never gave up when Helen threw fits and temper tantrums. She never gave up when Helen chipped Anne's tooth. And because she never gave up, Helen learned to communicate. I said a hero should be brave. If Anne Sullivan wasn't brave, then no one was. She was brave for accepting Helen Keller as her student. She could have quit whenever Helen got difficult. But she didn't.

A hero should be confident. Anne was confident that Helen could succeed. At times she almost gave up hope, but she didn't. That's why Helen Keller is so famous. Someone who goes out of their way to help others could be a hero as well. Anne took almost all of her life to help and be a companion to Helen. She helped not only Helen, but the rest of the Keller's, and set the example that the impossible could be done.

Anne Sullivan is my hero because she really changed the world. She set the bar high for blind and deaf students and their teachers, all around the world. Most people know who Helen Keller is, but hardly anyone knows who Anne Sullivan is. She is one of the reasons why Helen Keller is so famous. I hope to live up to her standards, and help change the world. Anne's story touches me, and I hope her story finds a place in your heart as it did mine.

Page created on 6/5/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/5/2010 12:00:00 AM

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