As a reading interventionist working in kindergarten, first, and second grade, my daily teaching requires persistence and patience. Progress is often slow. I wish I could speed up their learning, but when the moments sparkle, I become excited. My heart races and inside I am jumping up and down. I cheer with the kids, give high fives, fist bumps, and sometimes a “whoohoo”!
I have a couple of kids who I can’t get too excited with. They would clam up, so I usually just smile. One little girl stole my heart the first time she hugged me out of the blue. S is unique. When she came last year, she wouldn’t speak to anyone. Then, she began to whisper to friends. Interventions were put in place and we waited. One day as I returned my interactive writing group to their class, she hugged my legs tight. No smile. No words. Just a hug.
This year, she smiles at me. She hugs me. She shares stories. All in whispers.
Daily working with her, I wait on her. She is gaining decoding skills, but her processing is almost double the time of other first graders. I just have to wait. She doesn’t ask for help and we are working on that. Wait time is hard for me, but it provides her with enough time to be the champion of her learning.
I am waiting. I am waiting to hear her real voice.