The school year is officially over. My kids are sleeping late and begging to go swimming. Inspired by one of my daughter's finals, I'm also reflecting on what I've learned over this past year.
Sometimes what you learn is the process more than the content.
My daughter has survived her Conceptual Physics class ... and actually did well. She built a group of friends who study together and share notes. She learned to manage her time and plan ahead, to use all her resources, in class and online, and to go in and ask the teacher for help and feedback on her work. I think she learned a lot about physics, but most importantly, she learned how to tackle difficult classes.
An adult student at the Lindsey Center was struggling to pass the GED practice tests. On his last attempt, our coordinator sat with him to talk through his answers. She asked questions to guide him to think critically, see connections, and make inferences. She taught him to think through the test, not just complete it. And his next attempt was successful.
Celebrate all the big and little victories.
The big ones are obvious and exciting. GED graduation is tonight at the TCC at 7:00 pm. It's probably the loudest graduation I've ever experienced with all the families and babies and loud cheers and whistles. The excitement is proportional to the accomplishment. This year, Literacy Connects celebrates with our staff and tutors at the Lindsey Center as they witness 8 of their students receiving diplomas.
Big celebrations happen because the smaller ones add up. At the end of the year, one staff person worked with the same child she had assessed in January. He was still reading the same level text; however, this child had grown in many ways -- he was more engaged, he took risks, he read more easily and was able to retell more than before. He might read the same level text, but he is not the same reader.
Stories help keep us focused on what's important.
This came from a 3rd grade teacher at Maldonado:
This year marks my 3rd year in a row working with the Reading Seed program, and each year keeps getting better. This year, by far, has been the very best. I can say this because each of my 5 students that were recommended to the program reached their goal and received a Reading Seed medal for their accomplishments.
I'm so proud of my students, but at the same time so grateful for all the additional support I received from Mary and Joann. I also need to say that I couldn't have done it without them, and it was only with their help that my 5 beautiful students can now move onto 4th grade with the confidence and skills they need in reading.
Your hard work, dedication, and stories keep us motivated. You challenge us and make us laugh. Now, people are off on vacations and travels during the summer months. We wish you safe travels and look forward to seeing you return! You make all the difference.
Enjoy your summer. Take time to rest and refresh. And come back ready for more!