The flurry of summer activities in the church were finally over. The last one of these major summer activities is the VBS in Daraitan Baptist Church in Tanay, Rizal, currently in progress, where a team of teachers from our church was sent there to help in their VBS program. I love to be there with the teachers but unfortunately I had commitments, I am tutoring four pupils (thank God it was only four, it was supposed to be five but then I had to turn one down because I want to have a semblance of a summer vacation too).
I don’t know if I would be flattered because I had four tutorials, compared to some of my pre-school teacher colleagues who have less than me. I felt guilty about me looking like a swapang that I had to ask the head teacher if I had to share some of my pupils but my boss told me it’s ok because they have different rates (or fees), which is a little higher than mine (unfortunately the tutorial fees are so minimal compared to other tutors from other schools that to avoid having depression about money, which I badly needed, I try to comfort myself into thinking that these tutorials are my ministry or more appropriately a pseudo-ministry.)
I am an avid reader, so I said to myself that tutoring reading would be the easiest thing in the world for me to do. As an elementarily education graduate, I had more units in teaching reading and reading remediations than the secondary education graduates that I thought I would be well equipped in tutoring reading (I don’t know if I am making any sense here!)
Anyway, I didn’t have any problem with my grade three pupils because their problem is comprehension which can be easily remedied with Q and A discussions and a little lecture here and there on noting details and predicting outcomes. But I was not prepared when I encountered a grade two pupil (not from our school) that read some word in reverse! This wonderful and gentle hearted pupil of mine (I could see the determination in him to learn to read) read words like “to” as “ot” or “for” as “fro” and he kept forgetting the correct way to read these words though I tried to remind him of it all the time. Anyway it’s a text book case of (mild?) dyslexia and it’s the first time I encountered it and a little understanding about dyslexia made me aware that I was not dealing with an unintelligent pupil but a pupil with a reading problem and it made more aware of how to deal with him. Anyway I believe that he will be able to overcome the problem because he has focus unlike my other pupil…
I had another pupil who could barely read. This time the problem is attention. I cannot get his attention, his eyes are always wandering off, he is always scratching his legs, arms, head, he jumps up and down, and if I did get his attention, it usually lasts for about ten seconds only. Anyway I already diagnosed the problem and I don’t know if I’ll be able to help this one. My Older sister told me that cases like these needs medication to balance the chemicals in the subject’s brain…The difficult part is telling the parents about it.