Ashamed, I avoided eye contact with the teacher and pretended to not pay attention. It was easier to pretend I wasn’t listening than to acknowledge the truth.
I did not want to admit that I couldn’t read as well as my other classmates. I felt behind and stupid. Each time I had to read aloud, my face felt hot and my palms began to sweat. How would I ever be able to read?
Everything changed when one teacher took the time to really help me. She began using a different curriculum and I immediately started to get the hang of reading. She believed I could read, equipped me to do so, and told me I was doing a good job. That teacher’s empowerment made all the difference to my first-grade self.