I felt my heart break a little today as I was testing one of the 2nd grade students at my school. I was in the class observing her. As I sat there I noticed that she was playing with her hair. I then noticed that she put the bangs in front of her face before she had to answer questions. I don’t think the teacher knew what she was doing, but I did. Since the teacher was testing the rest of the students, I took her to my classroom to test her reading fluency level. She read 76 wpm, btw. She can decode, but doesn’t really understand what she’s reading.
So, after I tested her, I talked to her and asked her what she had trouble with. She told me division was hard for her. I can understand that. She has trouble completing tasks with more than three steps. The teacher is going to have to break everything down for her until she gets it.
I then asked her her age. She told me that she was 8. I complimented her on being a big 3rd grader. Now, this is the part that broke my heart. She said, “No, I’m not in 3rd grade. I’m supposed to be in 3rd grade, but I’m in 2nd grade”. Then she hung her head.
I was not aware that she understood that she was behind. She also told me about covering her face with her bangs, and the butterflies in her stomach. I wanted to cry. She was trying to hide. She’s been doing it for a while.
The time had come so I had to take her back to class, but before I did, I showed her Patricia Polacco’s Thank You Mr. Falker. I told her that she was not alone; that other people had problems with school work too.
She said, “They do?”
“Yes,” I told her. “You are not alone.”
She smiled as we left the classroom. My heart healed a little bit after that! I will keep you updated on her. Bye for now!
Filed under: teaching