“You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – Life Lessons From Special Kids”

Each student encounter taught a valuable lesson throughout my 42 years of teaching.  An authentic voice is given to each student’s story, and the reader gets a glimpse of that student’s struggles, triumphs and educational journey while in my classroom.  Throughout my career, I discovered new ways to reach students that are certainly not in the lessons I learned from the textbooks and experiences of college courses.

What do you say to a student who raises his hand and asks, “Can I call you Sugar Lips?”  These stories are at times, humorous, profound and at times heart-wrenching, with every emotion in between.  Every student had a story, and every story had lessons to be learned.  There were times I wondered, who was the teacher and who was the learner.

At the end of the book, I share ten life lessons that are valuable for everyone that I learned from these special kids.  In this age of inclusion and diversity, this is an important book that will make you laugh, cry and cheer for people with special needs.


Chapter 1: The Early Years 1970-1976
Chapter 2: First Full-time Job Iowa 1977-1979
Chapter 3: Dream Job in Kansas 1979-1987
Chapter 4: Hello Michigan 1987-1989
Chapter 5: On to Florida 1989-1999
Chapter 6: Back to Michigan 1994-1997
Chapter 7: Move to Illinois 1997-2000
Chapter 8: Short Stay in Indiana 2000-2001
Chapter 9: Longevity in Ohio 2001-2021
Chapter 10: Wrapping Up 42 Years of Teaching

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You will laugh. You will cry.  And you will forever be touched by these heartwarming stories.

Kathy Harris, author of The Deadly Secrets series