CANTON, Mich. (WXYZ) - A Plymouth High school teacher is choosing to openly share his struggles with cerebral palsy to help his students overcome their own problems.
Scott Thomas has a love for life and passion for teaching that is just contagious.
“Mr. Thomas is a really great person and he’s really inspiring to all his students and all of us love him and love coming to his class,” Junior Maddie Carpenter said.
Thomas is legend at Plymouth High School.
“He goes through so many things no one else understands, he’s always in pain and will never show it on his face,” Senior Erin Hult said.
The public speaking and debate teacher now lives with Adult Still’s Disease which is a debilitating diagnosis that often leaves him wheelchair bound. But that doesn’t slow him down.
“A lot of times teachers say ‘oh we gotta teach the curriculum,’” Thomas said. “No, there’s more to education then just the curriculum, there’s life.”
And it’s those lessons that have changed Carpenter’s life.
“He’s the only teacher I ever had that said he was proud of me,” she said. “Usually that’s your parents that tell you that but he honestly and deeply cares for his students.”
Which is exactly what Mr. Thomas says motivates him on the toughest of days.
“Every kid has the special ability to do something well and we all as teachers need to recognize that,” he said. “In today’s society where it’s so much negativity we have to promote positivity and every kid including Maddie has something to be proud of.”
He’s building self-esteem and positive teens – who are learning everyday they have a choice.
“I wake up every morning and choose to be happy,” Thomas said. “I think we all have that choice to make every single day.”