Cherry’s Gift: All We Need Is Just A Little Time And Patience

At some point, I’m sure every English teacher would have found themselves staring in bewilderment at inventions of unknown symbols their students come up with while learning the alphabet.

I have a kid, Simon, who would with great care and diligence, write capital “G” in inverse. Like this:

turned_sansserif_capital_g

How impressive that my Simon, at the age of seven, already knows what the unicode character for ‘turned sans-serif capital G’ (U+2141) is.

Other times, and more often than I would care to admit, I find myself peering with great interest at all the “ruppers”, “pooks” and ”qencil-poxes” the children of the world seem to cohesively conjure up from nowhere.

Many adults, upon hearing my anecdotes of having to decipher such cryptography every other day, would often dish well-meaning (but misguided) advice on what I should do. Without much basis, they would suggest for me to tell parents that their kids are supposedly dyslexic.

One of the most heartbreaking “get-your-child-tested” cases I had the blessing to encounter was with a girl named Cherry.

You see, while Cherry is the sweetest and most hardworking girl you’d ever encounter, she has a minor problem: Cherry is a slow learner. And because Cherry is slower than the rest of her classmates in grasping new concepts, they would oftentimes make fun of her. They called her a “stupid four-eyed monster” and labelled her “dumb”.

There’s no denying that the world we live in is a cruel place. However, cruelty should never be tolerated in the classrooms — and especially not on my watch. Thus I took Cherry under my wing and began tutoring her during all my breaks. While the other teachers would take a breather, I would be pouring over books with Cherry in a small corner of the teachers’ room. And while her peers were out playing, Cherry would diligently focus on learning with me. We made a perfect nerd-pair! ;)

Over the course of seven weeks, Cherry began to improve. Nowadays, whenever I look at her spelling tests, I feel a great sense of pride and happiness. Cherry, on the other hand, has shown her resilience and proven her mettle in being able to rise above bullying.

Thank you, Cherry, for teaching this friend of yours that with just a little hope, love, encouragement, patience and resilience, all things can be made possible.

Week 1 … Pretty bad

Week 1 … Pretty bad

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Week 2 … No improvement

Week 2 … No improvement

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Week 3 … We had already moved on from learning alphabets to words, and poor Cherry wasn’t able to catch up.

Week 3 … We had already moved on from learning alphabets to words, and poor Cherry wasn’t able to catch up.

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Week 4 … Some big improvements! Notice the “qencil-pox”? ;)

Week 4 … Some big improvements! Notice the “qencil-pox”? ;)

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Week 5 … Cherry’s handwriting has improved tremendously and she is still being very diligent in her studies. (Goodness, I’m beginning to sound very matronly!)

Week 5 … Cherry’s handwriting has improved tremendously and she is still being very diligent in her studies. (Goodness, I’m beginning to sound very matronly!)

·  ·  ·

Week 6 … The day I marked this was one of the rare, few days I actually teared up with joy.

Week 6 … The day I marked this was one of the rare, few days I actually teared up with joy.

·  ·  ·

Week 7 … Cherry is on a winning streak! Last week’s 10/10 was no fluke!

Week 7 … Cherry is on a winning streak! Last week’s 10/10 was no fluke!

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