Monday, June 05, 2006

The Dirty Dozen..

12. Twelve. 10+2. Twenty minus 8. Twelve glorious days of school left. (shh, the last day is a half day so it's really only 11.5). On one hand, it's hard to believe that we are already looking at the end of the school year. On the other hand, I can barely stand my excitement that this year is ending. I. Am. So. Ready.

Today was the kind of day that kicks you when you are down. I know, it's Monday. Monday's aren't supposed to be great. Y'all... mine mostly sucked. But yet, at the same time, today was a day that I will never forget. I'll share the good first.

I work with this little boy in the second grade. This is my second year working with him. I see him for about an hour each morning before lunch. He has learning disabilities, as do his half brothers and his father. He especially has a hard time with math and reading. Last year, when I started working with him at the beginning of the year, it was just he and I. He could barely spell his name. He didn't recognize color words. He couldn't sight read, write half his letters, nor recite the alphabet in order. If we were reading, he couldn't sound out words and would either guess or ask me.

He is the only reason I go to school some days. He has shown progress from the very start. When some of my other students are sliding backwards and making me wonder why I even do this.. he is a light shining in the darkness. This year.. we were asked to add two more students from the same class to our group. One is a second grade girl, and one is a third grade girl who is reading lower than he is. Like mid-first grade low. On top of that, we were asked to come back and have our group in the classroom. Sometimes that is hard. It's noisy in that classroom. Sometimes he gets frustrated, because he is making leaps and bounds in his reading, and the others are "taking too long."

Our two little girls have issues that require them to not be in school right now (resists urge to scratch head) and today was the second day they were out. So I asked his teacher if I could take him over to our room and do some reading with him. She agreed, and he brought over his Magic Tree House book he had just started. That he even wants to read chapter books is huge for us.

He sat down next to me, on the third page of that book, and for the next hour I thought my heart would burst with pride. Not only did he read almost 20 pages alone, he read words that I figured I'd have to help him with. He sounded out the rest and when he got stuck on a few that don't follow the rules... I helped him. That is why I get up in the morning. That is why I put up with the rest of the crap. I don't know who was prouder, me or him.

After lunch my day went to crap.. but I'll post about that tonight, after I've had some time to think on it and put some distance between the post and the event.

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