Above and Beyond

Above and Beyond

Ashley, K-3 Reading Corps Member, Grand Rapids

Something that never fails to impress me about my students is their constant drive to want to learn more, and to tackle every challenge they face. Children are relentlessly curious, and I love the way they jump head first into something new. I’ve seen it time and time again, but this year I’ve had one student in particular who has gone above and beyond.

“Ana” is a bright, bubbly Kindergartener with a heart of gold. She comes into each tutoring session with a smile and a great attitude, and always works hard. She may have only recently turned six, but she has the work ethic of someone four times her age. She’s been making fantastic progress, and is well on her way to exiting the program.

One day, we were working on our phoneme blending and I set my clipboard down for a moment to grab something. As a joke, she picked it up to “be the teacher.” To my surprise, she started going down the list word by word and attempting word blending completely unprompted. This was something we had never even discussed, but that didn’t stop her from rising to the challenge. Rather than stop her right away, I gave her a couple minutes to see how many she could figure out on her own.

Since she was able to get quite a few right, I discussed the experience with my internal and master coaches. They both agreed that we could try supplementing her current intervention with some word blending. She took to it right away, and is now almost ready to exit. I’m so proud of her hard work, and glad that I took the time to see what she was truly capable of.