Within the last few weeks, I have been helping a student develop her reading skills. As stated in my previous blog, this task has been challenging because I am not a reading specialist. Each time I leave ACH, I constantly think about ways that I can help her with the limited tools that I have. I even went as far as to use Duquesne’s contacts to help me with this situation. However, this matter will extend beyond my time at ACH. I needed to do something productive for the time being. I found some learning books and games and offered them to the family to use at home. During my last visit at ACH, the student expressed some annoyance that I was not there to help her everyday. I wanted to tell her that I would come every day if my schedule permitted, but instead, I encouraged her to work diligently on improving her reading skills. My heart broke thinking about how a student looked forward to me being there to help her. The relationship we built over such a short time has significantly impacted me. If I ever had any doubts about becoming an educator, this experience taught me to believe in myself and others.
Sometimes we believe that victories need to be full of fireworks and wow factors that indicate success. Yet, some of the most fulfilling achievements are the small steps that we take before reaching a larger goal. When I started my internship at ACH, I did not I would encounter a student with reading challenges. I also did not think my background in English, not education, would be much help to her. Still, I used whatever tools I had to accommodate a student’s needs and developed a relationship that will serve as a reminder of how to deal with students in my career. My time at ACH has been humbling, and I hope that my education journey is full of small victories that will be valuable for students to learn and engage beyond their challenges and differences.