Isn’t it amazing how much easier it is to cope with life, when you’re happy and feeling good? Problems that come your way are not huge obstacles, just a mere blimp on your radius of happiness, to deal with and let go. When you’re feeling good, you’re feeling confident – you can cope with just about anything!
I see every day, the difference confidence can make. I teach children to read, and I love it! When I first meet children, I like to take the time to talk to them, and find out a little about what is happening in their lives – school, friends, favourite thing to do, and so forth. It is during this time, I can usually assess how they are feeling about their learning – I can see it in their eyes, the manner in which they respond and the answers that they give. I generally get a pretty accurate idea, as to whether I can help this child over a long period of time, or in a relatively shorter period of time.
What I am really looking for is confidence – confidence in their ability, and their desire to become better readers. What alarms me, is the look of fear, the look of helplessness and the look of defeat. Sadly, a lot of children walk in with this look. They have failed time and time again at reading, and have all but given up.
Before we can move forward, I have to rebuild the confidence, the desire to learn, and the ability to accept, that when something is hard, we can still succeed, it just takes a little longer. Think back to pre-school days, or more accurately, the ‘terrible toddler’ days. They may have been terrible for us, but for the toddlers, there was no fear, no barriers, no tests – they just got up, day after day, and ‘had a go’. Some trials did not go so well, but they learnt from these. These unsuccessful ventures did not deter that desire to get up and have another go.
I think it is important for children to accept that they are having trouble with reading, at this time. But what is even more important, is to teach children that they are the ones that can turn this around. It takes work, and commitment, and the right attitude. And this has got to come from them. They are in charge – our job is to show them the way, and push them out of their comfort zones.
When this happens, success follows, and confidence begins to grow. And when this happens, I am reminded again, of why I love my job!
So if your child is having trouble reading, accept that, and move on with a clear plan of attack, of how things can get a whole lot better! Dwelling on the problem, just makes it worse. Concentrating on the way forward, is a step in the right direction. If you need some help, you know where I am!
Until next time