So, today was a pretty good day. I tutor two kids, one in first grade, (I'll call him D.), and one in fourth grade, (I'll call him J.). I absolutely LOVE working with both of these kids, and they are so different from each other, too.
This was my first experience working with a first grader, and it's honestly been amazing to me to see the growth that happens in such a short amount of time. When I started working with D. he was still learning his letters. Now he is reading level one and level two books....chapter books even!! He's not reading perfectly, of course, but he's reading!! Each time I see him I'm always thrilled to see the progress he's made and continues to make.
When I was a teacher I actually taught fourth grade so I had that experience before I began working with J. I've been working with him longer than D., and he, too, has made so much progress. A lot of his progress has been in attitude about school and his grades, his willingness to do his best, and to do his best neatly. He continues to surprise me with his feelings toward school and learning, as well as his academic growth. I think back to how he was when I first met him, and then I think of the excitement in his voice when he told me about getting the highest grade in his class on a math test. It's like he's a different kid!!
You know, I understand that I'm giving a lot to these kids, but I honestly feel that I'm still getting the better end of the deal. The joy, the pride, the excitement, and the sense of accomplishment I feel when working with both D. and J. makes any physical pain (due to my two chronic pain conditions) I feel as a result so worth it. When I see the lightbulb come on when they finally understand something that we've been working on or hear them say with a smile, "Ooooh, I get it!" it just fills my heart up more than anyone can understand.
Well, I'm ready to get to bed after watching Part 2 of "The Bachelor- After the Final Rose," but before I sign off for tonight, I want to share one cute thing that J. said to me before I left today. I'm gathering my things up, and he says, "Ms. Rice, do you think you can come some Friday to just hang out, watch movies, eat junk food, and....just hang out?" How cute is that?!