The training I was fortunate enough to receive was more profound then my entire education in literacy. I entered with very little understanding about phonics, rules and generalization along with the role they play in both reading and writing. More importantly, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, till I started learning. Then I realized, that even though I have learned a considerable amount in a very short period of time, there is always more.
After going through the initial classroom training and after reading and completing seven papers I felt that I could identify much of what I experienced in life, with what I was reading and writing about. I learned about how the brain works and how the dyslexic’s brain is wired differently. Knowing that I passed this on to my son makes it difficult and yet, the struggle he encounters on a daily basis is one I so vividly remember. I forget the name of words for objects, people, and things, get lost on road trips, misspell words so badly that spell check cannot pick up a correct word and end up using a basic word instead, and I read things incorrectly all the time. When Joseph does these things, I both smile because I understand, and a piece of my heart breaks, because it’s due to me.
Back to the training……When the first lesson approached and that moment of “ am I ready to do this?” sets in, it was like a first day of anything. The time leading up to the actual moment was far more intimidating then the actual day itself. My students were wonderful and as I worked with them lesson after lesson, I noticed tiny details, pondered the inconsistencies that are consistencies, that provoked learning. Then, I flash forward to observation days. I came to love them, why? Because, this was where concrete learning took place. I am a visual learner, and Linda, or Kathleen who supervised my lessons, would jump right in taking over, for something I either had not previously heard or seen. (You can’t read everything in a book! ) Those were ahhh… moments, that molded the scholar I have become. Those moments where when I knew exactly why 100 hours of service is required in this program where others have a week of classroom training and send you off into the world. That is one of many reasons this program is so successful.
My students all hit a period around 16-18 weeks in to the tutoring, where things just started to click, and gains were being made, noticeable gains. It was amazing for me to watch, as I saw it not only at the center, but at home. The elation of joy at seeing my students grow, is priceless. It is a moment where I wanted all children who are dyslexic, or even who have difficulty reading to be able to have this gift as well. An analogy for you, it’s like knowing there is a cure for cancer, but very few know about it, and many pretend it doesn’t exist.