October 13, 2012

Positivity: Teaching with her toes: Armless tutor inspires students

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 6:05 am

TeachingWithHerFeet1012From Lakewood, Ohio:

10/1/2012 12:04:55 PM ET

It’s a new school year and students are getting to know their teachers – but one special teacher is receiving attention for her fancy footwork.

Mary Gannon, a 24-year-old math tutor, was born without arms and teaches with her toes, amazing and inspiring students and staff at Harding Middle School in Lakewood, Ohio. She’s become a living example that anything is possible.

Gannon drives, dresses, cooks, types emails and writes math problems on the board – all with her toes. Gannon is right-footed and jokes that she can’t read her writing with her left foot.

She applies her personal experience with overcoming adversity in the classroom with students who need added help in math. Missing arms means a calculated compensation in everything she does. Gannon’s a problem solver in – and out – of the classroom.

“I’m not saying I don’t get frustrated,” she admitted to TODAY.com. “Watching a normal person carry something heavy, I wish it would take me two seconds to carry groceries.”

Gannon grades papers with her right foot — because she can’t read her writing with her left foot.

Quotations she lives by fill a bulletin board in her classroom. One reads, “Life has no limitations except the ones you make.” Students threatening to give up on a seemingly impossible math problem are directed to look at the board. Gannon herself finds the word “handicap” limiting for someone who dreams so big.

“I have a bunch of goals for myself: Being a full-time math teacher and having one grade to focus on,” said Gannon, an ambitious recent college graduate who started as a substitute teacher at Harding Middle School before becoming a math tutor.

As far as her students, Gannon told TODAY.com, “I personally go out of my way to explain.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.


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