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I Suck at Teaching, this I Know.

Last night, I discovered that I would make a terrible teacher. Well, as far as younger kids go. I can instruct a coworker how to navigate a computer program without visual references, but teaching a kindergartner how to read? Nope. No way.

Yes, I have two kids, and the younger one is in kindergarten. This means the older one got through it fine, and I didn’t nearly have a mental meltdown while reading with him. Why the difference, you ask? Because the older one could already read. Has since he was 4. He picked it up easily, loves to do it, and didn’t require very much letter-by-letter teaching. He is also more like me, where you tell him once, MAYBE twice, and he’s got it. He recalls a word he has read, and knows how to say it the second time without prompting.

This time, though, his brother is not like me. Not like him. (Note: AND THAT’S OK, IT JUST ISN’T AS EASY)

Though my younger one is quite smart (scored easily above average on initial testing for most categories), he takes longer to learn. If he doesn’t get it right the first time, he guesses at the second, worse guesses at the third, and then just proclaims, in an exasperated manner, ‘I JUST DON’T KNOW!’ And I’m all, ‘but you JUST READ IT!’ And he’s all ‘OMG WHY DO I HAVE TO REEEEAAAAAAAAAAAD????’

You see the pattern here. The good news is that he does eventually figure it out, after I point out the exact same word that he read, a few lines prior.

I know, I know, I know, you are screaming at the monitor HE’S ONLY 5, GIVE HIM TIME!

I KNOW! It is something that I have to remind myself, and I have to actively force myself to be more patient, praise him when he gets it without help (and with), and just accept that a ten line poem may take fifteen minutes to read, and possibly some tears along the way.

It also helps if his dad helps him with his homework more often than I do. He has far more patience.

#motheroftheyear

I should really end this by thanking teachers everywhere, especially ones of younger grades, where they are introducing entirely new things on a daily basis. I’m glad you can do it, because I sure can’t. So, thank you, endlessly.

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4 responses »

  1. R couldn’t read until the 3rd grade. it was a constant struggle with us. We didn’t realize how bad it was until 2nd grade when we she couldn’t do her math work because it was all word problems. She couldn’t fake her way though it anymore. We pushed her into a special reading class because she just REFUSED to cooperate at home. She hate it. Every minute but the deal was, “if you get your test scores up then you can drop it.” and she did. We still did some tutoring and special reading stuff but she’s finally an avid reader on her own. It just took time. Coco on the other hand can completely read–she just won’t talk. Sigh. it’s always something, right?

    Reply
    • He at least CAN read, just was unfortunate to have an older brother that excels at it, therefore establishing the ‘expectation level’ too high. and at least I can admit that my patience is so low, it drives me crazy when he just read ‘the’ two lines before, yet the next time he sees it, he says ‘pomegranate’, or something equally out of the box. I’m like, DUDE, WHAT?

      However, I don’t envy you.

      Reply
  2. I found with mine that I didn’t want to read it or repeat if for her. I was all, you just read that word correctly. I have learned I should have repeated it for her and said something in a nice voice like do you remember reading that word before? Let’s try it again. Instead, and I’m a teacher but this was with my kid not a student, I got impatient. I’m glad you see this now and not two years of lost patience later. And yes, DAD to the rescue – it works in my house a lot, too!

    Reply

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