“I know exactly if one of my students is reading from a book or notes when I ask a question. The tone of the voice always changes. There is no cheating with homework, we have built that type of relationship,” said 43-year-old Croatian teacher Zeljko Brdal, who has been blind for the past 16 years.
Brdal has for 17 years has been teaching at a school in the Zagreb suburb of Dugave and says he knows his classroom like the back of his hand. The history teacher is renowned for being strict but extremely respected. In 17 years nobody has broken the rules in his classroom – school bags must always be under the desk at all times.
“I have never tripped up on any bags, neither in the hallway or in the classroom. Students simply know that I can’t see and if they leave them around, then I can hear then rushing before me to remove them,” said Brdal to daily newspaper Vecernji list.
Brdal teaches over 290 students in 12 different grades and says that he knows everyone’s first and surname. Brdal is also a huge lover of chess, and he was named in 2009 as coordinator of the chess school in New Zagreb.
“Knowing him has made us not look at blindness as anything peculiar. If anything we know exactly know how to approach them,” said one of Brdal’s students.