U R the best Techr

Ax had a writing assignment this week. He was to write a note to his teacher. We sat at the kitchen table together. There was a blank lined page with “Dear Teacher,” printed at the top and “From your student, ______” at the bottom. He looked at the page, looked at me. Looked at the page, looked at me. Pen poised. Page staring up at us. Long silence.

I said, “When I write I find it easier to break it up into two parts. The first part is, ‘what do I want to say?’ and then the second part is writing it. So Ax, if Miss Ish were here what would you want to say to her?”

Big smile lights up his face. He’s got it. “You’re the best teacher in the world!”

“Oh, okay. Great. ‘You’re the best teacher in the world ... So it starts ‘you’re, you are ....’”

He gets to writing intently. “U R,” looks at me.

“Great. You are. Now ‘the.’” He hunkers down. It takes probably over a minute but he actually spells “the” correctly on his own.

“Tee,” he says as he writes. “H,” he continues. Looks at me, “‘The’ is a snap word!” he announces, proud to share his knowledge.

In class they have a bunch of words they’re supposed to know “in a snap,” which they call snap words. I suppose they get drilled on these or something very non-Waldorf but I trust Miss Ish makes it a compassionate enough process. And holy crap my kid is writing, and reading!

But OMG it took a really long time to write that note. And a lot of thought and debate, about capitalization and punctuation. But he kept going.

I was so proud when he’d completed his note I wanted to take a picture of it and email it to her right away. “No,” he said, “I’m going to surprise her with it tomorrow.”

Ok. And vicariously I got to feel a bit of that feeling of learning something new, pushing through the challenge of doing it, and coming out the other side feeling that feeling of progress, of having done something worthwhile. I’m gonna keep going.