There is a girl in my class that I’ll call Hope that is a very sweet girl. She is the kind that sits at the carpet and looks like she is paying close attention to the lesson and so at times I call upon her to have her share an answer with the class. It is at this time that I discover that even though she is listening, the words are just bouncing around in her head. So I wrap up the lesson and spend some more time talking with Hope and a few others to make sure that they understood what we were talking about. I know that with low performing students, like Hope, that they can struggle to hold onto even the most basic of concepts.
Hours of tutoring, teaching, and conferencing have helped to give Hope a tenuous grasp of the basic concepts. The blank stare that I used to see is slowly being replaced by bits and pieces of understanding. Today my day was made when I had my students turn and explain a math concept to each other and I listened in on the conversation of Hope and her partner. It seemed like she would be stymied again, but slowly she pulled from her mind the proper things to say and was able to explain today’s concept to her peer. I made sure that I praised her for her excellent explanation and made sure to write a note in her agenda. A broad smile remained on her face for the rest of the day.
The greatest joy in teaching is when we see one of our students who has not been blessed with much, gain understanding, because of our help. To think that even though this one lesson is but a fragment of the learning that our students will need to be successful, the concepts we teach them are more than the they had when they entered our classroom. We have had the opportunity to improve a life forever. So today I celebrate the little victory that meant the world to a girl named Hope.
(In the comments below, please tell me of a little victory you had this week)