Wednesday, March 21, 2007

are we there yet?

this evening i met with my tutee for the second time. she showed up 40 minutes late (we meet for an hour) but i stuck it out, because her mother had called, insisting she would appear soon. she did, and when she saw me, she took off in another direction.

i sat there, determined to wait just a few more minutes, and if she didn't return, i'd leave. she returned, sat down, and declared she didn't want to read any of the 6 books i brought with me from the library. withough much effort, i convinced her she should choose one for me to read, and SHE started READING it. well, she started reading the first few words. i was shocked, elated, and against all of po bronson's and other's sage advice (thank's jay! i've forwarded it all over the place), i extolled praise, love, and more praise. 3 seconds later, she was discouraged by the fourth word in the sentence, and returned to frustration, anger, and distraction for the remaining 30 minutes. gosh i want to help her, but it's tough!

my current plan is to continue reading to her, rather than asking her to read to me. hopefully this strategy will encourage some interest on her side. she recognizes letters, and can spell out words, yet her extreme frustration and anger kicks in so fast, and then she's lost. she exhibited a bit of interest around the topics of the books i brought with me, and a few times we even laughed together. perhaps the ticket to establishing trust is to ease into it and enjoy the stories first. right now i am a teacher to her, and therefore, the enemy. i'm not sure if that will ever change.

she is so young to have such an attitude. she's really not that behind in reading, but if something doesn't change and/or someone doesn't help her, she's going to fall further behind. tonight a decision was to be made about her involvement in tutoring; if her attitude didn't improve--because that's what is making it so difficult for people to help her--she would be told to not come back. i gave her good marks; i told the director that she showed improvement, and that i would see her next week. whew.

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