I was teaching a little girl how to read who had never read a before. She was 2 years behind. She knew that everyone in her class could read and she could. She was faking it and hiding the fact that she couldn’t read. She didn’t believe in herself, she thought she was dumb and that just her brother was smart, but not her. As she was learning how to read, she literally bloomed like a flower. She stood taller and her image of herself changed, because she didn’t need to hide anymore. She was just as good as any other kid in her class. What a Huge Impact learning how to read made on her life!
It dawned on me that she was able to read simple books after 10 classes. and I thought wow that’s fast!
It used to take me longer to teach kids to read. Students would come to me who couldn’t read. I’d write down what they needed to know and throw it out, the next kid would come in, I’d do the same thing, next kid, the same thing…
Then it dawned on me that they were all struggling with the same thing. So I started to create specific material to solve their problems. 18 years later, I have a whole reading kit, and I’ve developed a specific process to teach it.
I showed my reading kit to a principal once and she said that every teacher should have one.
But I never ended up by doing with it, it was just this thing I knew had to do, was constantly updating and over time my results had improved drastically.
Then a very good friend of mine told me that he didn’t know how to read until he went to university. What! Impossible! Clearly he knew how to read or he wouldn’t have been accepted into university, but his self esteem must have just been so destroyed that he didn’t believe he could read.
Then a relative told me that they couldn’t read until they were an adult, then my coach told me that he couldn’t read until he was 36. All of this happened within a short period of time.
I was asked to volunteer to teach a 59 year old illiterate man. When he told me what he’d been through, I cried. Every single day he struggled because he couldn’t read. He couldn’t use the bank machine, couldn’t text on his phone, couldn’t use the internet. The day I taught him how to read a stop on the metro map, I was on top of the moon! I could literally see the light of recognition go on in his eyes. Learning how to read was opening up the world for him.
After that I knew that I had to help. I could have saved all of those people a lifetime of struggle, had I been able to teach them to read.
They were all tactile learners. They learn with their hands and by doing. Think mechanics, dancers and athletes. Teaching reading is not done through touch or movement in school. So these people fall through the cracks. The method that I developed reaches everyone because it uses movement.
When not teaching, I am creating learning material which I sell through my online TPT store at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Susana-Prevost. The reading kit will be available there soon.