A year later, Primary One, from no word at all to being able to read simple sentences better. All thanks to a fiery English teacher and a smart friend who was able to teach me to spell and read all in span of just a few lessons...or perhaps days but definitely able to read soon after.
Our English teacher was furious i wasn't able to read. She assigned a friend, who was the top student in class, to be my mentor. The catch was, if she's not able to pass me, both of us will kena. I don't know how she did it but she did. I CAN READ. And i am forever thankful to her. Hence this story that i still ponder until this very day.
I deduced, everyone has a 'switch' when it comes to learning (anything). It's just a matter of time this switch will be triggered taking in all possible variables. In my case, the two people (and notably the consequences of not being able to read) i mentioned earlier triggered my learning switch to read. Arm with this in mind, i always tell myself whenever faced with students with difficulty in learning, that there will be time that they too, will have their learning switch triggered. Whatever that switch leads them to considering all the surrounding factors. Of course, this is all easier said than done if you are pressed for expectations and results. But that's another story for another time.
Leticia by the way, has been showing improvement on her reading ability (English lah, BM is still disastrous). As a teacher, i'm fully aware that she is a quick learner and to which I'm thankful to God. We have expectations for her but we are also reminded that she is just 5. I want her to be able to read and count by 7 cos that's the expectation in our education system. Yet at the same time, we want her to learn with the flow. We don't do academic schooling on daily basis. Sometimes we skipped homework (OMG, teacher?!) because I also believe in non-academic learning. But when we do focus on the first, we try to put in as much and at the same time learning to press the Stop button when things get too loaded aka emotions interfere. Ha.
I nudge myself that the key to learning and instigate motivation to learn is not pushing the limit. Not yet. Not at her age. Not at this circumstance.
And patience, as simple as the word seems to be, is not all easy especially to parents. I realised, whenever i lose my patience during our learning session, there is nothing much she learns except the fact that 'mummy is angry' or 'mummy is upset'. Vice versa.
I am actually amazed at the rate she's able to read sight words taking into account our inconsistent reading time. But just by being there, participating with her fully has indeed encourage her more. Again, i know, she's a quick learner with less to worry about learning disability. And again, a blessing i will never cease to be grateful.
However, if one day i am to face with her learning switch that is tough and demanding, may i find this entry today a reminder to be patient more than ever.
Teacher Joyce Sutili, my Primary One English teacher.
Amilia Petrus, the friend who I am indebted to forever.
...and i bear no grudge with the nun. I have even forgotten her name.