For a while now I’ve wanted to start something new on our blog. I want to write about each of my students in the after school program in Apalina so that you will get to know them better. I hope that through this, you will feel even more a part of what’s going on here in Romania.
First up is my most faithful student, Daniel. He is in the eighth grade, and until this year hasn’t come regularly to our after school. I knew him, of course, but I honestly thought he would be one to just drop out once the year really started. I was wrong! He has only missed one day since the start of school this year. Just as a reminder, the group I work with is students who have the hardest time with reading, writing, and basic math. It may be surprising to think that there are students in the eighth grade who struggle with this, but Daniel is not the only one. From the beginning, he was already one of the stronger readers in the group, but that said, he still struggled. He knows the alphabet, but he doesn’t know how to use what he knows to help him read. Since the start of the year, he has improved to the point where he is now helping me teach other students in the class. Sometimes I have to tell him not to answer because he is so much faster than the other students now. He has made great improvements, and mainly because he wanted to. That is one of the biggest battles here. Many of the children have decided (either because they were told or because of many failures) that they cannot be successful no matter how hard they try. With Daniel, that is being proven wrong!
Someone recently mentioned to me that it must be so hard to do what I’m doing. My response was that it is hard, but the rewards are great. When I see a student like Daniel achieve success after success, it makes it all worth it!
Stay tuned for more updates about the students in my class and for a picture of Daniel.