We recently had a teaching vacancy in our school. Whenever a post is free, we go through the applications we previously got and also ask friends if any of their teaching friends are looking for a job right now. This time, we got a recommendation which first made us wonder and finally laugh.
A friend told Ramona that she had a friend who was a teacher and would like to come. In her words, what she said was: ‘She is disabled, so she really needs the job!’
Ramona invited her friend for an interview and told us about it. We talked and said it wouldn’t matter, in fact, that it would be good for our children if they saw someone who is impaired in walking for example – or whatever her disability might be – teaching them! It would show them that we all are equally valuable humans, no matter how we look! They could also learn that whatever issue you have, there is a way to take it in a positive way and still have the strength to go far in life!
With all these good thoughts we were waiting for this lady to come, give her resume and do this job interview. A woman came and introduced herself as the friend of a friend. We understood that it had to be this young woman whom we had been talking about. But wait – we could not see that she was in any way handicapped!
So Ramona talked to her. She read her curriculum vitae, she talked with her about her experience and aims. Throughout the complete conversation, Ramona was trying to subtly find out anything about that before-mentioned disability! She had both arms and both legs. The hands had each five fingers, nothing misshaped or not functioning well. Two eyes, a nose, a mouth, just like everyone else!
Another thought: maybe her friend had meant ‘mentally disabled’? No, that could not be either – how would she study and then teach with such mental problems? And anyway – in the conversation, nothing hinted to any difficulty in thinking or talking or expressing what she wanted to say!
So when we met our friend the next time, Ramona asked: it was a good interview – but how come you said she was disabled?
The reply was clear: ‘She is disabled! Her family is so poor, they are not able to provide for their food and clothes!’
We looked at her in amazement – and then started laughing! Our friend tried to be polite and thus replaced the word ‘poor’ with ‘disabled’! Oh well, we always like supporting the poor, too!