I found an unexpected reading treasure this week in Lovey: A Very Special Child. This is a true story written in 1976 about Mary MacCracken, a special education teacher, and her students. Lovey tells the story of Hannah, a child who is fat, dirty and behavior-ridden. No school wants to keep her. No child wants to play with her, and Hannah seems unable to speak. She yells, cries and acts out, but she does not speak.
Mary is not excited about having Hannah in her class. She has three other students who are on their way to being well adjusted. Hannah is another matter altogether. Mary isn't sure where to begin to help Hannah. Mary is a teacher who has no official certification, but she has worked as a teacher for six years. Her experience allows her to find Lovey, the child who is hidden under Hannah’s anger, loneliness and fear. Once Mary finds Lovey, she works to help her reach her full potential.
I firmly believe every teacher needs to read this beautiful story. Hannah's new life begins when she tells her teacher: "Call me Lovey... nobody say that before." Mary MacCracken reaches Lovey with her unconditional love, her determination to make a difference and her inability to take "no" for an answer.
Mary, although an unofficial teacher, finds a way to reach Lovey and gives his child the possibility to reach her full potential and offers her something she never had before, hope.
I wish that all teachers had Mary's wonderful ability and compassion. For those of you who possess this talent, my hat is off to you. Thanks for helping our children become the people they are meant to be.
If you are a teacher or know a teacher, please make time to read this book.