“How was your day, today?” or “How was your weekend, and day today?” this how I am greeted each day by my tutor student, John. I understand that having favorite students is frowned upon, but John is one of my most cherished students. John comes in excited to learn and tell me about the latest happenings in his life. I discovered that when John reads loud, he reads fast, and is determined to improve.
John started reading with an average of only 50 words per minute but could remember every detail of the story. In the fall months John had a poor attitude towards his reading speed. He would say, “I bet I didn’t make our goal.” In response I told him that progress is made with a positive spirit and that he would have to have higher expectations and believe in himself.
After he heard my words, I knew John would be ready to conquer the DIBELS test. Now John has become so confident in his reading that he tells me not to correct him, as he will ask for help when he needs it. Currently screaming and reading 90 words per minute, John is excited to read and participate in class. Ironically named “John Fitzgerald Kennedy” Tran, he, like our former President, inspires me to put forth my best effort and do more. He made a difference to me.
-Nia Payne, Corps Member, Walmart Foundation Team at Horace Cureton Elementary School