I wasn't looking forward to working in July. With the bad economy we didn't have enough registrations for our summer camp and so I was faced with the prospect of not working, with no pay , or tutoring just like I do during the year. So tutoring it is. I really wasn't looking forward to it, but now I have four brand new students and one old one (who is a miracle)and they have given me new energy. I didn't think they'd be keen on having to come to "school" during the summer either, but I was wrong.
My first student is a little doll. She comes in tired and bleary eyed but by the end of the lesson she is all smiles and skips out of the door. Because she has to start first I always do active things with her. Today I had her juggling three balls while spelling! She's only seven! The grin on her face just melted my heart. I asked her if she wanted to learn handwriting and her eyes widened.
My second student pulls out his hair. He has a lot of it but seriously, there are clumps of it on the table by the end of the lesson. Still, the change in him after four days is amazing. He likes that I just tell him how things are, what the rules are and that I don't talk to him like his not intelligent. So many of my students are so smart but they just can't figure out how to read and write. How frustrating can that be!
Number three came in the first day and hardly said a word. Now she won't be quiet! I will do a meaningful conversation post about her next.
Anyway, I do math with her. She's very very low but smart and catches on fast. Today she bounded in....5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100! She was so excited about it she just kept repeating it again and again during the lesson. She is also very competitive and will almost anything to beat me at a game. She's only seven too.
Fourth student has a psychoeducational report that makes Forest Gump seem like a genious. But I discovered this week, he's actually very smart, he just has the most severe speech impediment I've ever heard. I suspect his hearing is not very good either. What a sweet child he is, so polite, so happy. His mom says he loves coming to school!
My last student, I have had for the past 2 years. He's been at our centre for 3 years. He is classically dyslexic in every way. When he first started he was a non-reader and now he reads above grade level. His spelling is really great too. Writing is coming along, but a struggle. He can add, multiply and divide in his head now! The biggest change in him is his attitude. He's happy , he likes school, he reads on his own, he even likes his big sister. And he's proud that he got straight C+ 's on his final report card.
I know I don't make as much as a teacher in the public school system, and I don't get the summers off but it really doesn't matter. I can actually help kids now.