Thursday, October 8, 2009

End of Semester

Again? you might ask. Yes, again, I come to the end of a semester of tutoring. This one seems to have gone on longer, despite having a fairly good, i.e. willing, student. One of his quirks has been to yawn constantly, and I do mean those huge almost fall back out of the chair yawns. Each session, he got me feeling tired as the two hours wore on. As we got into our final weeks, he started becoming a clock watcher too. Each time he looked up at the clock, I found myself looking up with him. It tells a lot about him that he would ask..."Do we have 15 more minutes?" when the clock clearly showed 10:15am. Class always started at 9 a.m. and ended at 11 a.m. "No, we have 45 more minutes." and those 45minutes started to loom over me as I too wanted to leave.

I also made the major mistake of thinking our class ended last week, and I happily said good-bye to him, wished him well, and said I hoped I'd never see him back here! In a detention center, no one looks forward to a returning pupil but it happens.

It took me the weekend to realize that I had focused on October 7th with our granddaughter's upcoming move to the Tucson hospital for her bone marrow transplant. I had ended him one week too soon. Sigh.

Bless his heart, he came back on Tuesday with almost no yawns for one hour, but then he was mentally done. We reviewed and I wondered if he had mastered the difference in the -ing, and -ed endings. He seemed to understand the 1-1-1 rule for a lot of words in English. One beat (syllable is not a familiar term to most of these students), one vowel, and one consonant at the end..then double that final consonant. Doing it together he got it. Doing it immediately on his own, not a clue. Then there was -s or -es for the plural. Uh, uh. The only way many of these students can master some of these spelling is to write the words so many times it registers visually. The trouble is when a student then writes it incorrectly, s/he knows it's wrong, and gets very frustrated, very fast when the correct answer doesn't come. There's not a lot of patience with working it out.

Well, Thursday's class has come and gone, and He PASSED!! 101 out of a possible 117. 87 is the grade that is needed for a certificate, so the last thing I did up at the detention center today was fill in a certificate. Maybe it will encourage him to do some more literacy work when he's out. Maybe and maybe not, but we can hope.

My slate is clear for a while.


Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Maureen, you are awesome! I really admire what you do. It must have been a great feeling to write out that certificate :-)

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Also meant to say, wishing and praying for a successful marrow transplant for your sweet granddaughter. XO

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