Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stepping out of the woods.

It's been six weeks since the Baby Echos and I have been together. I've finally stopped calling Jamal, 'Miguel.' Considering Miguel is Hispanic and Jamal is African American, this should have been a no-brainer. The others have settled into their names quite nicely, too. Marques is my 'mover and shaker.' He has yet to pass a half hour in my presence without rolling on the floor. Alisha, the only girl, is my emotional time bomb. Last week she came into class and said, "Today, I'm not going to throw a fit." I've never called her teary outbursts 'fits' but apparently someone has. Miguel is my anti-Alisha, so quiet I must make a conscious effort to ensure he's not forgotten. When the rest of the crew get too loud, it's Miguel who covers his ears. Jacob routinely asks to come home with me. "But Jacob, for all you know I live in a cave," I said, the first time he asked. His eyes lit up, "You live in a cave?" He's asked every day since. Tyrone will do anything for a laugh, even if it gets him in trouble, and Jamal is the perfect audience, laughing and cheering the others on, lesson plan be damned. They could drive a person crazy if they weren't so adorable.

I was signing out after a particularly rowdy session when the classroom teacher stopped to talk to me. "I wanted you to know that all of your kids are showing improvement." She went on to explain that the six are retested every week to two weeks on their letter sound recognition using a special monitoring system called DIBELS.

"All of them had scores that showed they were at risk for reading failure back in October. They're all out of the woods now."

I left that day with a smile on my face a bit bigger than usual. We've all made progress. Go figure.


  1. Well done, good for you (and them)!"

  2. We're expected to make a difference in the lives of our own children, but it's a very special thing to make a difference in the lives of children that aren't your own.

    ...or now they are, perhaps?

  3. Touching and wonderful....and so you. Hope all of you had a great Christmas in N. America.