Seeing Nicky Blossom
My first-grade student’s name was Nicky*. She had been home-schooled in kindergarten and did not know how to read at all, unlike most first graders. At school, she got extra help from the reading teacher and worked with me though the Reading Buddy program.
Nicky and I bonded easily, probably because we share a birth date. My favorite thing about her was her energy and her willingness to learn. I did not have to work to motivate her – she kept me motivated.
At the beginning of the school year, I picked very basic early reader books for Nicky. At the end of the year, she was reading Dr. Seuss with very little help. I think this was my proudest moment.
At the elementary, the student gets to go to the principal’s office and ring a very large, special bell when he or she “graduates” from working with the reading teacher. This was very exciting for Nicky!
Nicky loved the books I gave her from the RSVP book fairs and told me she would read them to her family and her stuffed animals at home. When we were reading one of these books, The Rabbit Listened, together, Nicky commented that the picture of the building blocks ‘looked like Stonehenge.’ She is a little sponge and is actually going into the gifted program next year. She ended the school year above grade level in reading! I hope she will go on to win many scholarships and academic rewards in high school.
Nicky told me she wants to be a Reading Buddy when she gets bigger! She stated that she also wants to be a teacher.
*name changed to protect identity