The meandering thoughts of a modern-day hearth witch.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


 ¿lǝǝɟ noʎ ǝʞɐɯ ʇı pıp ʍoɥ ˙ʎllɐɹnʇɐu ǝɯoɔ ʇ,upıp ʇɐɥʇ ɥʇıʍ pǝlƃƃnɹʇs noʎ ƃuıɥʇǝɯos - ʇɹoɟɟǝ lɐǝɹ ɐ sɐʍ ʇı 'ʇı pǝƃɐuɐɯ ʎllɐnʇuǝʌǝ ǝʌɐɥ noʎ ɟı ɹo ¿ʇ,uplnoɔ ʎldɯıs noʎ punoɟ puɐ ƃuıɥʇǝɯos pɐǝɹ oʇ pǝıɹʇ ɹǝʌǝ noʎ ǝʌɐɥ

woH tuoba siht? I naem ti SI hsilgnE. uoY nac daer hsilgnE. sihT tsum eb ysae, thgir? woH wols era uoy?! ylsuoireS - t'nera uoy enod tey. enoyrevE esle si ydaerla dehsinif.

.annoyed little a get to beginning you're bet I'll ?Lost ?Inadequate ?stupid little A ?now right feeling you are How ?you for easier Any .one this try Let's.

How about this? It's in English - give it a go...

Frustrating - isn't it?

I - along with many people, I'm sure - take for granted the fact that I can read pretty efficiently in my own language. Reading is an act I love and cherish. I have always been a prolific reader and it is my adoration of curling up with a good book to escape into someone else's world that has led me down most of my chosen paths in life. Books guided me through childhood and my school years; literature led me through A-levels in English and History to a degree which encompassed both; stories of far away places inspired me to travel and my love of language, communication and storytelling is the reason I wanted to become a teacher.

Today I had ten minutes with a young boy that simultaneously broke my heart and reminded me of why I love to do what I do.

This particular boy - let's call him J - is 11 years old and he cannot read. Not in the way you and I say we can read. He can make out simple words. The. It. You. Me. He gets confused This string of letters on the page - n.i.g.h.t - makes no sense to him.

Today I thought I was going to have fireworks with J. I don't teach him for English - he is a member of my tutor group - and he walked into the ten minutes I get with him after lunch like a bear with a sore head.

I haven't seen J for a while at tutor time. On a good day he gets internally isolated before lunchtime (usually for refusing to do what someone has asked and swearing at them). On a good day. On a bad day he will kick off so badly that he is temporarily excluded from school. So when J made it through to tutor time today, I knew that would have taken most of his energy and he probably didn't have much patience left. He stormed into the room, slammed his bag down and scowled at me.

Silent reading day.

In fairness, it took a bribe to get him to fetch a book: 'There are sweets in the cupboard with your name on. But you don't get them unless you follow every one of my instructions.' He thought about it. And then he fetched a book. And then he started reading the words aloud to me. Word by painful word he struggled and struggled through a paragraph until the ten minutes were up. He didn't slam the book down. He didn't refuse to carry on. He didn't give up.

He earned his Haribo. And my respect. If I couldn't read any of the work anyone put in front of me for seven hours a day, I'd be kicking off and swearing too.

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