I have this one student that I am working with every single morning. His name is Landon. He is 14 years old and when we first started working together in October, he hated math. Actually, he despised math. Math was hard for him. It was just too difficult for him to do so he tried to get out of it every chance he could.
I'm not sure what his previous schooling was like other than he went to a public school in Las Vegas. But what I saw in him from the beginning was a lack of confidence in many areas. He was overweight and didn't really see himself as smart. He constantly told me that he couldn't do any of the math homework because he didn't know and because he was dumb. This really saddened me because he was believing a lie that had been told to him somewhere along the way.
This is NOT how I, his grandparents and God see Landon. Landon is an extremely intelligent, compassionate and kind young man. The good thing is, he is starting to see that for himself.
When he moved down to Tijuana to live with his grandparents in September, his grandmother put him on a very strict diet and made him exercise daily. He has lost a TON of weight and this in and of itself has gained some confidence in him. He told me one day in class that his neck used to touch his chest but now it doesn't.
When I started working with him in math he was used to just using his calculator to complete his math workbook but we started getting into fractions and I basically forced him to actually do that math. He didn't really like me at first. He was frustrated because he lacked the confidence in his own abilities and I was pushing him really hard. I was pushing him because I KNEW he could do it. I KNEW that he just needed to do it to prove to himself that he was smart!
Those first few weeks it would take us several days to do one page in his workbook, a page of only about 12 problems. By Christmas break we had completed 26 pages, in 10 weeks or 40ish days. That's an average of 2 and a half pages per week.
As of right now, he is actually ahead in math and we have started adding to his morning routine spelling (which he was doing at home) and social studies. So where before it would take him all morning long to maybe complete half a page of math, we are now doing 1 full page of math plus spelling and social studies.
This kid amazes me. Like he actually BEGS me daily to do math. I'm like, who are you?!? This week, because we are a bit behind on spelling and ahead in math, I'm making his focus on spelling to get caught up. He is still begging me to do math. The confidence he has in himself and his abilities are growing leaps & bounds and I am so very proud of him.
We do still have some struggles and there are days that I still have to tell him to focus but those times are few and far between. He is taking his education into his own hands. He is taking responsibility for his own actions and is seeing that when he applies himself, regardless of what others have told him, he can do great & mighty things, even conquering algebra!
I could not be more proud of this kid. Daily he rises to the challenges that I put before him and conquers them. He slays them!
So THANK YOU!!