Gives me hope

This is a video of two of my students reading Peter and Jane. They couldn’t read at all at the beginning of the year (one of them still can’t, actually). I thought I’ll record them reading so we can look back and see how much they’ve progressed over the months.

The girl, Jaya, could not read AT ALL 3-4 months ago. She does not know how the alphabets sound, much less read words. When she first came over for extra class at night, I was so shocked to find out that she couldn’t read the first few words in book 1A. Peter, Jane, and, here, the, dog. It has never crossed my mind that a child would not be able to read at all at age 13!

Thankfully, Jaya is a very determined girl. I started with alphabets with her, and she learned wholeheartedly. She wasn’t angry that we were doing something so “easy” and would constantly try her best. We then moved on to phonics and sound blends, before moving on to one-syllable words.

I gave her a kindergarten sticker activity book once, and she came back excitedly the next day with the whole book completed. She never fails to amaze me with her determination and persistence. When I gave her the Peter and Jane book to read at home, she copied the ENTIRE book in her exercise book so she could read it over and over again.

In the recent few months, she has been begging me for extra class almost every night. It’s a big commitment for me since I have tons of work to do at night so I often found myself telling her “maybe not tonight, next week ok?”. When I finally said she could come over, she would be very happy and would come 1-2 hours earlier than the time I’ve set.

Sometimes, I have about 6-7 kids over and can’t pay full attention to her, but she’s never whined nor asked for the attention. She would just sit and read out loud alone so I could hear her. I’m very sure whatever progress she has made thus far is 99% due to her own hard work and perseverance.

This is her, a few months later. When I first heard her reading one-syllable words independently, I was so excited I just wanted to cry and hug her. It’s been a long road for us to get to this point, and I’m sure she was as happy as I was!

Jaya gives me so much hope and she’s sending me a very strong message: to never give up on them. It took her 3 months to be able to read book 1A flawlessly, and god knows how long it’ll take for her to be able to actually be reading at her age-appropriate level.

But I need to remind myself that it’s not the duration that matters, but the fact that she can actually read now! I just need to start the motion for her, and hopefully she would be motivated enough and have enough basic knowledge to read more difficult words on her own later.

p.s: the video is a little long, but it’s worth it! at least for me it is :)))