I have a fifth grade student that I dearly love. I have been working with him for a couple of years. He really struggles with processing information and then expressing it. He can read fairly well, although he often doesn't understand what he has read. I've been working closely with his classroom teacher to ensure that we are on the same page. So, she lets me know that he has a book report due in a couple of weeks, and I ask if she would mind if we read a book together and discuss it, then I would help him with the report. Absolutely, she says. So, being the conscientious tutor that I am, I make a trip to Borders and find a book I think he will like. I choose the book The Chocolate Touch. Heck, what kid wouldn't like a book about candy?! We started the book tonight, and he informed me that he has never read a chapter book before. He said he always sticks to books with lots of pictures so he doesn't have to read them. But, Hallelujah ! he likes the book. He said, and I love this, it was like watching television in his head! He said maybe he would like reading after all. I assured him that I would find more books that he would like, and he was totally good with that. We read two chapters together, and his assignment is to read 4 more chapters by Monday. And I am doing the same.
This is what teaching is all about, waiting for the moment the light bulb goes on, even if it is 45 watts and not 100. I cannot envision myself doing anything else with my life. And I don't want to.