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.
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.
Jill is finishing fifth grade and will be transitioning to middle school next year with her classmates, and students from fifth grades in other schools. Jill is very aware of this change coming up, as are her friends. They have conversations about all the, “What if’s?” and the constant rumors about middle school. They wonder about how they will manage all the differences from their current school.
“The sun in the west was a drop of burning gold that slid near and nearer the sill of the world.”
—Lord of the Flies, William Golding
William Golding’s use of metaphor for the reader who understands the figurative references is beautiful. But someone like me who saw words like “burning gold” or “nearer the sill of the world” became easily confused. Images of “flaming gold” and “a window sill” do not bring great meaning or enjoyment from Golding’s choice of expression. As someone who did not get this sort of thing, my strategy was to read without gathering meaning.
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.