A Turning Point
I tutor a student in reading, and she has come a long way from when I initially started working with her. Last summer, she was a rising 6th grader, but she was reading at the 4th grade level. This young student had a negative attitude towards reading and had no interest in picking up a book to read. Her mom asked me if I would work with her, and there was no way that I was going to say no.
Although she complained because she wanted to have her summer off, we worked together twice a week. Since she has “old school” parents, I had to laugh when they told her that she had no choice but to improve with her reading and that learning during summer was an option. It was a struggle, at first, because her fear of reading was really deep. However, the more we worked together, the more she began to feel comfortable.
We read a variety of print, which includes comic books and graphic novels because she loves them. Last week, we met for our session, and I told her that I had a surprise for her. She likes history, so I showed her a copy of March: Book One by John Lewis. I explained to her the purpose for this graphic novel and why I thought she would like it. When I told her that this copy now belonged to her, the look on her face was priceless. Then, the reading began. She read the first five pages, but she wanted to read them again. I told her to read with attitude this time, and she gave me ATTITUDE! I was so proud of her because she was not afraid; she was confident; she commanded the text. She is a different reader from last summer. She asked how many pages she had to read for our next session; I told her that was up to her. She replied, “Good!” I have a feeling that she will read many pages if not the entire graphic novel. When she said, “I’m glad Mr. Lewis wrote this book for students like me,” I knew that this was her turning point.
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