Literacy and Liberty

Learning to Write
Posted by: , September 4, 2018, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Towards the end of my senior year of high school I helped out in a preschool classroom. Every day the teacher had her students write their names out on a piece of paper. As you can imagine, this was easier for some than it was for others. One student in particular struggled considerably. His name was Isaiah Montgomery, which is a name that could be hard for a lot of people to spell, not to mention a three year old who is just learning the alphabet.

The first day that I came to the classroom, Isaiah could write the first two letters of his name before he began to look a little confused and uncertain of what came next.

The days rolled by with Isaiah watching his friends all around him writing their names with ease. Every day he would improve, adding a letter or two before he became stuck once again and just stared at his paper, frowning.

One day, after about a week and a half of this same routine, he sat down on the carpet per usual, picked up his crayon, and started writing. I could see that he was thinking really hard. His face was more focused than normal; I could tell that he was determined to write his full name this time.

Seeing the smile that broke out across his face as he finished his last letter was priceless. It represented the joy of learning something new, and of finally overcoming an obstacle that had seemed impossible to him for so long. From that day on he would write his name proudly, alongside the rest of his classmates. It was a moment that he probably won’t remember in the years to come, but I know I will.

3 Comments so far
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This story about Isaiah is so inspiring. I can only imagine how wonderful it must have felt to have been able to take part in his joy of finally writing his name completely. I had a similar experience when I was learning to write–my name is eight letters long, so it is somewhat difficult for a young child to learn how to write it. While I don’t remember the exact moment when I finally wrote my name correctly, I do remember being told that I wrote it on every surface that I encountered to prove that I could.

   Meredith 09.06.18 @ 3:38 pm

Kelly, what a charming story! Are you interested in early education, by any chance? More specifically to the upcoming literacy narrative, can you imagine ways to expand on or deepen this core literacy event? What meanings do you think it holds?

   Professor Seiler 09.06.18 @ 4:06 pm

This is adorable! There are a few moments that I think we have all experienced in which we are exposed to someone so innocent learning something and being so purely excited about it. I think that those moments have the ability to have profound impact, so I think that this is a great topic! I am sure that Isaiah will grow from it as much as you have. Maybe you could continue your essay as a mirrored storyline between the two of you!

   Jess 09.07.18 @ 2:26 pm

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