Today I get to feature one of my students that I had this summer with my online tutoring program and she is an absolute inspiration to all. First of all let me explain who I am. My name is Joanne Kaminski and I am also known as the Skyping Reading Tutor. I tutor children all over the world in reading and it is my personal mission to help 10,000 people become better readers.
This post is about a little girl named Ruby. When I first began working with Ruby she was a first grade student reading at a Kindergarten level. According to her mom, Ruby had been part of a literacy intervention group at her elementary school. A few weeks before I began working with her in May of 2010 she was dismissed from that group. It was pointed out to Ruby’s mom that she was on the low end of the normal range for her school’s 1st grade standards.
Her mom was concerned about her because she has had other delays – crawling, walking, talking, alphabet, writing, penmanship, math, etc. She had mentioned that she was a very hard worker. Ruby’s mom had mentioned that Ruby was prone to anxiety when she didn’t think she could live up to expectations. On several occasions I experienced Ruby breaking down due to this anxiety and my heart just went out for her. Her mom had mentioned that it was not uncommon for Ruby to say she didn’t know the answer rather than risk answering incorrectly.
When I started working with Ruby sight words were particularly problematic for her, both to read them and to spell them. Her mom was unsure where she should be with regards to comprehension, but felt that might be an issue as well. She had even mentioned there might be a possibility for dyslexia, but after the initial assessment we were able to put that thought to rest. She did not have dyslexic tendencies.
Ruby was an A+ tutoring student in my mind. She showed up on time to each session, if she wasn’t able to make it a session her mom let me know. Ruby showed up to her sessions with an earnest desire to learn. She made further gains than was projected even possible with just 1 hour of instruction a week for 3 months.
She has gone from the bottom of her class by the end of 1st grade to the top of the class at the beginning of 2nd grade. She is currently reading 2 and ½ grade levels above where she was reading back in May. She is starting off her 2nd grade year with a renewed confidence in reading and is no longer in need of tutoring. She has graduated from the online tutoring program. What a blessing this family was and now, because of the tutoring that Ruby has received she is set for the rest of her educational career.
What part of this story touches you?