An inspiring word power story!
This story actually began seven years ago when the school [H.E.L.P. Miami, a school that consistently brings "learning disabled" students up to grade level] operated out of my house. Jason had just failed the 7th grade and was having a rough time. His mom heard about my home schooling service and signed him up. It was a "disaster" from the start. Jason tested out years below grade level, yet claimed that he knew "everything". When I would quiz him on basic definitions, he did not know them, did not care to know them, and in some cases had a complete opposite idea of what the word really meant. Jason did not see the point of using a dictionary, as he "only wanted to pass the tests". I can recall vividly one instance when his mother turning purple and yelled at me for "wasting his time by making him look up words". And I can recall me saying over and over how I would not back down from making sure this boy understood his words. Both son and mother were very upset and began looking for another school.
The mother asked me to test Jason a month early so that we could get a present time assessment of what he needed. And shock of the century...after making this boy look up his words hour after hour and day after day with much resistance...he was up to grade level in all subjects!! (Can I hear a "DUH! I told you so!") The test results totally put an end to the resistance and the mother apologized. Jason completed the year testing above grade level and returned to public school.
Jason ended up becoming friends with my kids and even started to call me "Mom." Last year Jason showed up at my school,H.E.L.P. Miami, looking for a job that would allow him to attend college. I told his mom that I would hire him but only give him the refuse-to-look-up-words-know-it-all-kids. She laughed. (I was not joking...I gave Jason a few tough ones!) Jason has worked as a tutor in our middle school and has helped many kids with their math and grammar.
Last week he was accepted into law school. He came to my office to thank me for "everything" and supporting him even when he was a punk. "Well done" Jason for doing well in school! I am glad you are part of my family and team!