My wonderful learner Jarod comes to class twice a month and this week he was so very excited to tell me that his birthday is coming up and he will be 17.
I tell him I have a present for him, and I go to the garage and wrap up a writing notebook add a pack of fresh markers and throw in a focus spray too.
Jarod is delighted with his gift and one of the reasons is because he has become an excellent expressive writer, so new markers and a fresh notebook is the best gift ever!
I’ve been Jarod’s teacher and friend for around 10 years now.
We started working on reading and writing at our very first session.
It took Jarod a long time to click into reading and even longer to become a writer.
Years in fact, and I was beginning to wonder if expressive writing would ever happen.
Still, his mother continued to make the over 2 hour drive to my home each session and I continued to do what I do, teach to my learner's own unique speed and capabilities
Two years ago it, at last, all clicked for Jarod and he started expressive writing!
This was his first creation and it was written to me on the back of a worksheet;
“Ms bwn yuo fat”
That is what he wrote!
Well lucky for me my feelings did not get hurt, but interestingly enough, I had woken up that day feeling bloated and ‘fat’!
You’ll often hear me say that our learners are highly intuitive and I believe this is an example of that and that in itself is a great topic for future post.
I was thrilled with Jarod’s first display of expressive writing because we had been working on this for years and years.
I never give up and say writing or reading will not be possible for any child I teach.
Jarod now writes a big variety of expressive writings on the back of his sheets. He always writes what is on his mind.
These days the majority his writings are of the kindest and highest nature and I am so very proud of him.
I certainly don’t discourage his thoughts but remind him to express them gently and now he does!
I was strongly prompted to write this post today despite it being my day off and I was not planning on doing much of anything today.
Have you ever noticed how the Holy Spirit, your Inner Guide, just wont stop gently reminding you of things it wants you to do? Well. it happens to me all the time and that is why I am here writing!
This week when Jarod was doing his independent work at the table I decided to make him a hand made birthday card after I had given him the impromptu gift of markers and a notebook.
The card went like this:
Happy Birthday Jarod,
I have known you a long time.
You are a smart and handsome boy.
I am happy to know you.
I love you,
When I gave it to him I sat in awe at how he was reading each word and taking in the meaning of each word.
I sensed this card meant a great deal to him.
Jarod’s face was down as he was reading but I heard sniffles.
I said, “Are you crying?”
Jarod said “maybe”
I was touched to see him be moved to tears.
It was such a precious moment.
He went back to the table to resume his work; on the back of his next sheet he wrote me a thank you note.
I believe I share this because it’s a very sweet story and I share it for inspiration in that we should never give up on teaching our children to read and write even though they have a diagnosis and always remember the road of teaching is one that lasts a lifetime.
I share this because all of the teaching and modeling we do with our learners is really sinking in even if they don’t show you, one day everything you have been teaching just comes full circle and they have mastered something new.
I share this to as a reminder to myself that even the smallest of gestures or kind words I share can touch others in ways
I may or may not ever be aware of.
I wish you all happy learning and happy living,
With love and gratitude.