Condemned

During first semester her Social Studies teacher, was relentless in his demands on his students, no matter their ways of learning. He kept a pace which was quick by anyone’s standards. He moved on to new material assuming concepts, dates, and facts were understood. This quickly put Francine behind and created a disconnect for her and her teacher.

Defined

That first week of school it became clear how the school was different. John’s class only had ten students in it. The amount of attention he received and the level of concern for the instruction were evident even to John. He was immediately enthused with the activities they were doing and how he seemed to catch on right away. It was automatically easier to make friends and to find out that everyone in the class has specific needs. John made friends with another boy named David who was also new to the school. They became best of friends and supported the other as the school year progressed.

Competence

After supper, I went to do my homework and finally got ready for bed. I was really very tired from my work shift. As I got into bed. My usual prayers for family and friends turned to work. I prayed for wisdom and grace at work. That I would learn and show competence. My fear inside was that I would fail and be embarrassed at work, or fired. After praying, I was quickly falling asleep, and I heard a tiny voice say, “You are competent.” My eyes shot open, I scanned the room for a figure or source for the voice. There was none to be found. I laid awake for some time nervously thinking about the voice. Finally, I relaxed enough again to fall asleep.

Forgotten

It was not long before my mother was overwhelmed with her situation and with my problems. She was pregnant again and couldn’t conceive of managing with me around. That is when she put in an orphanage so that I could receive the kinds of support I needed. So, at two years of age, I was alone in an orphanage, unable to talk, and walking was difficult. Everyone assumed I was cognitively involved. Months after I arrived in the orphanage my mother died in childbirth along with my only biological sibling.

Losing Heart

“I can’t read, that’s why!” screamed Jasmine. She buried her face into her pillows and cried heavily as her mother just rubbed her back. Shelly was equally upset inside, and asking herself many questions about their move and why she’d missed Jasmine’s reading issues. Jasmine quieted and fell asleep. Shelly covered her and left the room.