Our wonderful tutors have contributed their fondest memories and experiences from throughout their years at the Children’s Dyslexia Center, and allowed us to post them on our website for visitors to enjoy!
I was given a thank you note from a parent explaining the change in her child after his time at the center. It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it, knowing what a difference we make.
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a tutor is seeing how what we are providing is building confidence and positive self-worth into our students, who often struggle not only with reading but also with feelings of shame, inadequacy, and failure. I will never forget when one of my first students, after persevering through almost two years of tutoring, finally was able to say “wait, I CAN get this”–and not just once, but twice during that day’s lesson. I knew we’d reached an important turning point, and actually teared up right there. Sure enough, this student started soaring after coming to this realization–and I will always be grateful for being part of making a difference in this student’s life.
Tutoring has proven to be an excellent retirement project. I continue to learn and I’m engaged in a community of caring and committed people. Best of all, I get to work with incredible children who are eager to learn. I can see the results of my work and feel the appreciation of the children and their families.
Seeing a student’s confidence level explode is awesome! Once a student has success in reading, his self confidence escalates in all aspects of his life! Parents, teachers and friends all see it. The student now has the positive self image to tackle new challenges in his life. I get so excited for the student and so immensely proud of him!
It was Déjà vu all over again. In my last class I was covering another pair of diphthongs. When I mentioned that these two vowel teams were diphthongs and reviewed what diphthongs were, my student said, “Oh, yeah, we just studied these on Monday.” Sure lent credence to our program!
My next student came in and I had “Ebenezer Scrooge” in his review words. I asked if he had ever heard of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. He looked uncertain, so I reviewed a little about the story. “Oh, Dickens,” he said. “We just finished listening to this in class today.” Voila!!! Score! Back to back, no less.
I was sitting across from my student as he wrote with unwavering concentration. He slid the paper over to me and I tried my best to interpret the words he had written. I read aloud, “I like my…” but all of a sudden “Teacher!” burst from his lips. My student’s expression of fondness for me was direct and unforgettable. From my years of experience working with children with autism, I was accustomed to displays of affection such as the grabbing of my hand or a simple smile. I looked across the table at my student and smiled. It is incredible the type of relationship one can establish between tutor and student in such a short amount of time!
Lagging behind his mother, a nine year old boy entered the door of the Children’s Dyslexia Center with his eyes glued to the floor, shoulders shrugged, body language looking (at the same time) defiant, yet defeated. He neither spoke nor responded to his tutor unless cajoled to do so. His responses were infrequent and comprised of one word whenever possible. A week later his mother entered the tutoring room with tears in her eyes to report that he had read an entire sentence aloud to her.
A year later, this young man stood in a group of fellow students at the front of a crowd-filled room and announced over a microphone his name, his age and the city he in which he lived. His voice was confident. His gaze was on the audience. His posture was erect.
This fine young man is currently an active participant in his tutoring session, self-correcting when making errors, spontaneously questioning his tutor if he does not understand, and adding personal experiences to illustrate his comprehension of material. Sharing his story with you is the greatest “paycheck” this tutor will ever need to continue in this program with joy and energy.