This past spring, my nail tech told me that her daughter's teacher was recommending summer school and summer tutoring for her daughter, Poppy, then in kindergarten.
The school wanted her to hire their phonics / reading teacher, whom Poppy would also have in summer school.
"Don't hire anybody," I said. "If the teacher can't help Poppy all day during the school year, and she can't help her during the six hours she's in summer school every day, then there's no point in paying her for more of the same." How much does that kind of thing go on, I wonder? We agreed that I would see Poppy twice a week until they left for Vietnam in the summer, and I did. I posted about those sessions on my LEX Facebook page, and they were quite popular.
My nail tech, whom I will call Millie, works seven days a week. She relies on a family friend to pick Poppy up from school every day and deposit her at daycare near the nail salon. By the time her workday is over and she gets Poppy home and fed, it's bedtime and there is scant time for homework help or anything else. Poppy does not have all of the advantages that most of my private students have: two-parent homes, professional / educated parents, disposable income, access to literacy resources, and more.
Millie is brilliant. She was always a good student in school, and wanted to be a teacher when she was growing up, but she ended up in the position of working to help her family. She put her sister, a chemical engineer, through college and graduate school, and she is determined to provide every possible opportunity for her two kids, Poppy and Landon, both U.S. citizens.
I want to help.
So with Millie's permission, I will be continuing my work with Poppy this fall, and writing up all of our sessions here on Shameless.
I had seen Poppy briefly a couple weeks ago, shortly after they got back from their summer trip to Vietnam, but we had not worked together before tonight. When I picked her up from daycare this evening, she was happy to see me. That's always a good sign, to not be dreaded or avoided by a kiddo. We decided it was still too hot to sit outside and walked toward the cool of the mall to study inside.
"How's school?" I asked.