“I am an educator of educators. I teach others how to be the best teachers. But, I’m also different.
“I have learning challenges.
“I found my way and my life’s calling thanks to dedicated educators.
“As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I am reminded of my personal journey.
“My disabilities could have defined me. But they did not. I do not consider myself dyslexic or learning-disabled.
“I am Jim. And here’s the story of how I overcame my challenges and the educators who helped me along the way.
“Born in 1970, I suffered a head injury as a young boy while roughhousing with friends. Perhaps that led to my learning problems. Perhaps it didn’t. Doctors aren’t really sure.
“What I do know for sure is that in kindergarten, I could not spell my name – James. That is when I became Jim. Over a period of time, I turned Jim into Mij.
“I did not like school. I decided it was about one thing – learning to read and write.
“I was poor at both. I didn’t like myself.”