Johnny, a 3rd grade student I tutor for reading, ran up to me one morning to tell me he read a book all by himself. It was the first time he was ever able to do it. He looked at me and said, “I can read, because you helped me.”
It’s a very simple story, but knowing how much Johnny struggles can give some perspective; Johnny is in third grade, but when he was assessed at the beginning of the school year he was reading at a beginning reading level such as kindergarten and the beginning of first grade. He is a smart boy and is very enjoyable, but he often gets frustrated in class and has discipline problems. He is realizing that he cannot do what his peers can do. I have been teaching him phonemic awareness and phonics skills. He is a great kid with a lot of potential. I am encouraging him to embrace his differences so that he can make the world a better place. It’s a great thing when someone can use their struggles to help others, and I hope that is what Johnny can do with his learning disability.
Lindsay serves at Bald Eagle School District, Port Matilda PA.