Unexpected Lessons From Teachers

Yesterday, the CDC reported that more children have autism than we thought. While covering the story for last night's CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, I visited The McCarton School in New York City. The school helps educate children with autistic spectrum disorders. The teachers took my breath away. (You can see more in the monitor below.) My eyes welled up as I watched them, not because I was sad but because I found their dedication and expertise to be so moving. They were so patient, so caring, so loving. As one point, I focused on a teacher standing behind a 6 year old boy during a reading class. She was in perpetual, subtle motion: taking a tiny, distracting toy from his hand; steering his attention to the reader; placing a gentle, reassuring arm on his shoulder; helping him pronounce a word mid-sentence but then letting him finish the sentence on his own. Over two minutes, she must have made ten different, thoughtful mid-course corrections to the boy's behavior. Imagine what that comes out to over the course of a day, a year, a career.

Teachers like these are true heroes.