» » TRT First Session Report (the stuff that keeps me going….)

TRT First Session Report (the stuff that keeps me going….)

This was Jan’s first ever That Reading Thing session. She was meeting these lads for the first time in a small secondary school for young people with social, behavioural and educational difficulties – the exact environment which inspired the creation of That Reading Thing. I am so grateful for people like Jan (and Russell, who started yesterday) who are willing to take a risk and jump right in with young people who come in complex packages. It’s obvious from the following that she just “gets it”.

Here’s what she wrote:

I met my two students Sam and Matt this morning. Matt was due to be first up, but did a bolt as soon as he saw me! He was persuaded to return after Sam’s session and he sailed through the sessions (we got to session 10/11 with both) very readily, albeit with an “I’m only doing this because it’s slightly better than the alternative” kind of attitude.

Apparently Matt has significant temper control issues, so I was pleased to make him laugh at one point and he did say he would give it another go next Wednesday – he did actually look me eye to eye by the end of the session, which I considered a result.

Sam was easier in some ways, but very nervous particularly when he didn’t recognize a word. It took a little while for him to understand that I wanted him to say sounds rather than letters, but once he got that I felt he put a lot of effort in. He listened well and was keen to “have a go” (he did explain at one point that he was only looking at his phone to make sure he had enough time to finish building his sound box in woodwork! I was pleased to be able to say I would make sure that he did as he was working so well).

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for more from a first experience. Duncan, the English tutor, also said that Callum, who worked with Russell yesterday, came back into his class and just got on with things (which apparently is unusual) – Duncan felt maybe he came away from Russell feeling more confident.

Of course TRT is about reading but, from the perspective of a young person who “doesn’t do education”, it’s also about a small change in attitude, getting through a new thing without losing your temper, having a laugh, risking making a mistake in front of a stranger, having a go, trusting an adult enough to look them in the eye and feeling a little bit more confident in a classroom. That’s an awful lot of outcomes for a couple of hour’s work.

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