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With Patience and Support Comes Student Success

In January 2020, I was given the task of helping a student out in English, who could not grasp the content that was being taught in class. Her teacher would try but unfortunately had little success in helping the student successfully grasp the materials given. Despite this, the student stayed optimistic even when she failed, and that gave me more motivation to step in and be the person who could help her.

In English class one day, the lesson was centered around rhetorical concepts. The students’ assignment was to read the “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. King, annotate it, label and find the different concepts, and take Cornell notes from that. I sat with the student and made sure she was clear on what the instructions were, then we began. I read the text with her and helped her go through each paragraph, paraphrasing it in written form for annotations, then labeling the three types of concepts wherever she believed they belonged.

While helping the student, I also helped her interpret the definitions of the concepts I took my time with her, going through each, definition, and paraphrasing it for her own understanding, then applying the concepts to certain parts in the speech. Each time she’d apply a concept, I would ask why she feels it fits in the text because I wanted her to start giving evidence for her claims that would help her understand what she was reading, and how to spot the concepts easier. In doing this strategy, she instantly became more confident in knowing how to do the assignment.

Our students are capable of achieving great things.

Without my direct help, she finished the last page on her own and completed the Cornell notes. She paraphrased her annotations, and then labeled her concepts correctly! She explained her choices and also gave personal examples of how the concepts played part in her life. The student finished up with her Cornell notes and included a great thorough summary of her concepts and assignment. Before class was over, she thanked me and turned in her work, receiving full credit and praise from the teacher who also praised me for my productive time with her.

Our students are capable of achieving great things. Sometimes all they need is patience and one on one support to help them reach the potential they already have.


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