by Katelyn Glenn
from San Diego, California in United States
Torey Haydenpintrest.comDo you believe having a hero is important? To some having a hero is a major thing and that is what keeps them afloat for others it's just someone they might look up to like their mom or dad. As we have found out a hero has no exact definition that stays true to all people. To all people it can mean something different.
A person who is deserving to be called a hero is Torey Hayden, a Special Education Teacher, Child Psychologist, and a proud author of 14 books and attendee of 5 different colleges and universities of science, psychology and teaching. At the age of 29 her first book was published that was the start of the series of books that would continue to follow her journey of teaching emotionally disturbed children. As being a writer and having a huge impact on people's lives she shows everyone what it truly means to have patience and not judge people on the way they talk, look, or carry themselves. A lot of people don't have as much confidence as others do, giving them the biggest chance to be targeted. In turn these people are put at a high risk of being bullied and such. Torey Hayden goes in depth in her book Just Another Kid and explains all the ups and downs as well as the trials and tribulations she faced with each of her students who were classified as “high risk” or “unteachable”. She went to school to be an astrophysicist or a cosmetologist. Though her freshman year of college she is said to never thought her books and writings would have land her where she is today. She not only continued with her writing career but also specialize in being a lecturer for both graduates and universities, a research coordinator, child psychologist, and a child- abuse consultant. With the amount of experience and amount of time and persistence Hayden put into her work and schooling shows us how she is reliable and a genuine human-being that cares about the kids who aren't given even first chances. “I remember the exhilaration of reading that story and finding it every bit as exciting to me as the day I wrote it. For the first time I discovered that, like a camera, words can capture the complexity, the beauty, the subtlety of life so precisely that one can return to them the next day, the next week, or years later and feel the experience they have created as powerfully as the moment it happened. That to me is magic of the first order.” (biography in context) This specific quote by Torey Hayden highlights the beginning of when she realized that she was really interested in reading. She also says that instead of working in her text book along with the class she would write stories and read a lot of books. She says she grew up always knowing that literature and writing
Torey Hayden's Bookpintrest.comWhile being a young kid and enjoying the love for all things books and writing she also has a love for teaching children who are not given chances at a education. This could be because they are mentally handicapped, they were born with a condition that impairs their learning process, and for some just because they don't feel comfortable and this leads to selective mutism. Torey Hayden's journey with these one of a kind children started her freshman year of college. She attended a fellowship and interned with a teacher who taught children with special needs. This really was the take off of her career and from there she would continue to teach and even counsel these types of children who many people think are “unteachable” “dumb” or even not worth their time. Kids with such disabilities like autism take someone with a great amount of patience, love, and skill and Hayden has all that. In 2007 she was awarded with recognition and a place in the Hall of Fame by the NSPCC which is the National Society of the Prevention of Children Cruelty. Being awarded this shows the huge amount of character Torey has and all the hoops shes gone through to get to where she loves to be as well as just how amazing everyone who reads her books and knows about her thinks she is. “It was a simple trick that had worked so often for me with elective mutes that is videotaped it and used it in presentations or my research.” (Hayden 68) Through everything with the children she still is persistent in her work. Some teachers will get into their work and potentially “baby” the children but Torey is always confident in her work. As seen in her book Just Another Kid she puts a lot of focus in not only making sure the kids are getting a education the parents struggled to get them but also not forgetting her roots and what started her success with presentations and strategies she obtained or taught herself. With all the teachers who were either not properly trained with special needs or teachers who teach “normal” classes in 1979, a lot of teachers didn't have the degree or requirements to teach these amazing children. In turn with Hayden teaching at a very quiet school with limited space she would be one of the only teachers who taught special needs and have to teach in rooms such as a basement of a school building. “The old building was no longer used as a school, but rather it housed the district administration offices, most of which were on the ground floor. I had the entire upper floor to myself as the rest of the rooms were used only for storage. In fact, there were only two functional classrooms in the whole building.” (Hayden 4) Despite the little room that Torey had been given in many different schools she made it work. Nothing would get in her way of teaching the children that needed her more than ever. Torey Hayden is the most deserving to be called a hero. Not only does she have an amazing patience with the children she teaches but she has a genuine love for them. It is difficult to find a teacher who loves and gets to know every single one of the parents of their students. Not a lot of teachers know what the child has gone though or even if the child struggles with their home environment. Torey does just this and gets to know each one personally forming a long lasting friendship with the kids and parents who she saved from not getting the patient, loving, and skillful education they deserve at the end of the day just like anyone else.
Page created on 4/20/2018 12:46:07 AM
Last edited 9/18/2018 4:28:08 PM
The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.