Of course, there's Helen Keller's marvelous story--but I would like to mention that the teacher who brought Helen out of her 'dark night' was Irish. Annie Sullivan. Not that you must be Irish to be an amazing teacher, but apparently it helps.
|Christy Brown painting.|
The family in Christy Brown's story submerged him in love and acceptance, which is a hallmark of Irishness, I think. Stubborn love. Relentless love. The result was a brilliant mind being released to express itself in prose and art.
|Daniel Day Lewis and Brenda Fricker|
Daniel Day Lewis won an academy award for his portrayal of Brown. It is said he remained in character throughout the shoot, in the wheelchair, etc., but unlike Christy Brown, could return to his unhandicapped life when the movie was finished.
Portions of the autobiography are frequently included in textbooks at the high school level. It is very well worth sharing with your classes.