Sitting in third grade listening to the teachers voice fade louder then softer as Wilbur met Charlotte. While I tapped my pencil on my desk, looked at the clock, tried to pass a note to my friend that was listened intently. I was bored, I couldn’t focus enough to remember what the book was about. I got through it, getting A’s and B’s on all my homework and quizzes. My report card said I was doing good. Until my teacher pulled me to her desk to read an “M” book instead of a “Q” book like everyone else. In this instance, each book represented a letter of the alphabet and I was further behind than the rest of my class. I would look at the pictures and imagine words that were not on the page. Much like Sherman Alexie did when he wrote in “Superman and Me”, “I cannot read the words, but I assume it tells me that, ‘Superman is breaking down the door’”(325). As he was imagine superman, I imagined the same things. To me it didn’t matter because it was not a grade, but then my mom found out. Due to the fact that my mother was such a big influence in my academic career, I was able to become a better student and will become a better teacher.
The night of parent teacher conference night finally arrived, I begged my mom not to go. I tried to remind her how good I was at math and how all my grades were high. My teacher, Mrs. Wilson, wrote my mom a lengthy note urging her to come. My mom came home that night determined, I thought she would be upset with me for not using my finger to track when reading the “M” book. She sat me down at the kitchen table and told me to read one of my math word problems. I did it with ease, breezing through it. Then she gave me a Junie B. Jones book from off the shelf and told me to read her a few lines. I tripped over a few words and took twice the time to read it than the math problem. That’s when my mom knew we had work to do.
The next day my mom picked me up after school and asked me if I had any homework. I exclaimed that I already got my math done, but I still had a test over a book to study for. When we got home my mom grabbed my bike from the garage. She would ask me a question, if I answered it correctly, I was allowed to drive up and down my small street. I was finally getting it, my mom knew I could do it. Similar to when Alexie writes, “The words themselves were mostly foreign, but I still remember the exact moment when I first understood”(324). The bike rides were enjoyable to me, which allowed me to realize my potential just like Alexie did. This went on for weeks and my test scores got higher. My mom even threw different games in the mix to keep my interest. I was lucky to have my mom, I would have been placed in a title one reading class without her.
In highschool, I had an English teacher, Mrs. Hardgrove, she was a stickler. On average my class got no higher than B’s in her class. However, I got A’s. When I took her final that was based off of comprehension from the books’ Fahrenheit 451, Hamlet, and Of Mice and Men I scored a 97%. Without all the work my mom had done I would have been put in a lower level learning and would have stayed there for the rest of my academic career. Alexie writes in Superman and Me, “I am smart. I am arrogant. I am lucky”(327). I am lucky as well, I am lucky to have a mother that cares about me enough to help me be who I am today.
Thinking back on the times my mom helped me, I wish that each child would have the opportunity of working with an adult if they were falling behind. My mom inspired me to make the decision to become an elementary school teacher. If she would not have helped me, I would not have had such a positive outlook on teaching. Due to this experience I believe that each child should have their own cheerleader helping them get through life. In my school the kids that had got placed into special needs never got out those classes, they spent 13 years with the same group of kids only switching it up every once in awhile. Some of these kids had the knowledge to rise above these classes, just did not have the help. This is why I think every kid should have a parent, teacher or relative to lean on when times get hard, like I did.
I am now in college writing, not tapping my pencil, looking at the clock or trying to pass notes. Instead I am understanding what is being taught to me. I am being treated like an adult. The tasks that are given to me are all reasonable and I am capable of getting them done. Since I now have this positive outlook on learning, I am dedicated to the children that need a cheerleader in their academic career. Each student should have the help that I got and to not feel embarrassed to ask for it. If it was not for the help of my mother, I do not know what my path would have been. Life is a beautiful ride.
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