My response goes somewhat like this:
(Let's not dwell on the fact that that is totally a tortoise)
I honestly have no idea how to respond to that sort of comment. It makes so uncomfortable for so many reasons....
1) I would like to think I'm not a bad person, but I'm not necessarily a good person ... I am simply ordinary. I am an ordinary person with an aptitude and a love for working in the area of special needs. I think people who can work in banks all day or hospitality are good - because they manage to do it without committing murder. I am not sure I could!
2) Why do I need to be a good person... to work with someone with special needs? This statement gets under my skin. Does someone need to be a "good" person to work with my friends? To work with me?
3) Let's just pause with the comment of "those kids"... do I really need to comment further on this? People first. "Those kids" are kids first, and human beings - and they are all very unique. You cannot lump everyone together like that.
4) By the way, I LOVE what I do... I LOVE what I do. I don't do this because I feel obliged to, I don't do this because I have a child with a disability, I don't work in the area of special needs for any reason other than I absolutely LOVE what I do. My work is simply working with children: it is working for their needs/wants - so they can have a good, meaningful, productive, effective life. I don't have to do this. I LOVE my life, I WANT to do this. I'm not a "good" person; I am just doing what I love.
I love other things in life. I do those things too. The fact that I have been called a saint was positively laughable. I have not cured cancer or anything else miraculous. I am complimented on being wise, and while I don't know how accurate that is, I consider it flattering and am honoured by that. But being called a saint? That is an insult to all saints who have ever existed!
I also love Disney princesses, sparkles, Scooby Doo, any sort of stuffed animal, getting new things, band-aids with cartoons on them... but when I spend time with anything to do with that, I am definitely not a saint. So I don't see how my work at special school is any different...
Are you a saint? What are some ways that people have described you that have either made you raise an eyebrow or been completely inaccurate?