Helping Those Who Cannot Help Themselves – Story Honoring Kim Hickman
I first met Kim Hickman when she came to work with Charla. Charla is my little sister who is homebound and needed a special education teacher to teach her. After Kim and Charla’s first hour of instruction my family could already see that there was a connection between them. They worked well together, and as the weeks went by I noticed that Charla’s learning ability was improving. I believe this is because of Kim’s consistent work with Charla.
One day I sat down to watch Kim and Charla practice cause and effect on her computer program. I immediately began to feel grateful that Kim had volunteered to be Charla’s homebound special education teacher. She had dedicated herself to driving from school to our house, then teaching Charla, and driving back to school as part of her daily routine.
I admire Kim for looking at Charla and seeing her as a human being with purpose. Charla has seven disabilities and this is what most people see. People see all the things Charla can’t do, but not Kim. Kim sees everything Charla can do and learn to do. This is not the only great thing about Kim. She has an endless and unwavering amount of patience. I notice that sometimes Charla will act stubborn and refuse to do things that Kim asks her to do; not one time did Kim ever get upset or angry with her. Eventually, her perseverance paid off and Charla would complete her computer program over the alphabet and numbers. I don’t have that kind of patience; in fact, no one that I can think of has the same quiet patience that Kim has.
After Charla finishes with her computer program, she begins using her Step by Step to read a book. A Step by Step is a round black and green button that Charla pushes to hear the words of the book she is reading. Before Charla uses her Step by Step to read, Kim records herself reading the book page by page. This is normally the last bit of schoolwork Charla does, for she only has school for one hour a day. Kim now drives back to school to teach the special education students in her class.
Kim not only teaches Charla, but she also has her own CDC class at Trousdale County High School. When the dismissal bell for the school day rings, Kim then transports some of her students home in the van. When all of her students are safely home she takes on the role of Assistant Basketball Coach. Being Assistant Basketball Coach for the girls at our high school takes up several afternoons throughout the week.
As the day begins to close Kim leaves behind the role of teacher, friend, and coach; she goes home to her son. If anyone asked Kim which of her roles throughout the day was the hardest, I am sure that she would say being a mom is the hardest, but most rewarding of them all.
Being both a mom and teacher are not very far apart, in both of these Kim is the role model that younger children look up to. In summary, Kim Hickman helps to teach and nurture those who cannot help themselves and who cannot learn in a regular classroom setting.