Beauty of a simple spelling list
Take a look at this photo:
To the average onlooker, it is nothing more than a list of words. In our house, practicing spelling words is a weekly occurrence, in preparation for the Friday spelling test at school. But to me, this list symbolizes so much more than just a random assortment of words.
It is a symbol of how far she has come in her literacy. Just a year ago, she would not have been able to spell any of these words, nor many words much simpler than this. She had no interest in reading and practicing for spelling tests was just another chore, one that left her in tears, feeling frustrated and inadequate. Self esteem started to falter and my heart broke repeatedly.
And then something changed.
We transferred her to another school, leaving her French Immersion school behind in favour of an English-language one, to see if that made a difference. It did, and almost immediately. She was fortunate enough to be placed in the classroom of a teacher with whom she immediately clicked, someone who lit a spark within her. Within weeks, her reading, writing and, most importantly, her self esteem had started to shift. We were seeing a passion for reading and learning that we hadn't seen before. She was confident in her ability to do well and she started asking to shop for books. This was new territory. I was thrilled.
Yes, i have always loved the written word. It has informed much of who I am, from my favourite pastime to my job, and I will always love all things to do with words. But that's not why I was thrilled when my daughter started to acquire reading skills and discovered a love of the written word. It was the spark that was lit within her, the new sense of accomplishment, pride and enthusiasm that reading gave her that really makes my heart sing. And I have an amazing teacher to thank for that.
For all you teachers out there: I know the days are long. I know it is, at times, a thankless job. I know you have to deal with difficult children and even more difficult parents. But please, know this: You make a difference. You touch lives. You make an impact that will last a lifetime. And to a certain Mrs. S out there, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving us back the confident, spunky girl we always knew was in there. I know for sure you will always be the teacher she thinks of when someone asks her who made a difference in her early school years.