Saturday, May 31, 2014

Did You Know? Vol 1

This might be a part of a series called Did You Know? but then again, it might not be. I tend not to finish series after I start them. LOL.

As I was reflecting on my birthday, I started to think back about different experiences that shaped my life over the past 32 years.  One of them, was moving to a new elementary school in the 4th grade.  I came from a low income school district and moved to a higher income school district (that district has gone waaaaaay downhill since I went there). 

I loved my new school, we had tons of resources that we didn't have at my old school.  I remember my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Cobb, being very pretty and having 'a lot' of money.  She always talked about going to parties and other 'fancy' stuff that, as third graders from a low income part of town, would never even imagine doing.  Ms. Cobb talked about eating caviar and how it was so good.  I had never heard of caviar, but my mom said it was very expensive.  In my mind:  If you can eat caviar, then you must be very rich. In reality, she was probably from a richer family or she had a rich boyfriend, since teachers do not make that much money-especially back then. 

She also took us on field trips on the weekends to fun places throughout Houston.  I guess she figured that we would never be able to go with our parents, so she took us herself.  She was a great teacher and I learned a lot that year.  One day she taught us to use a 'big word', automobile instead of car.  Whoa!  She had a list of big words that she wanted us to use instead of the smaller ones, I only remember automobile though.  Anyway, I always wonder what happened to Ms. Cobb, she was probably my favorite elementary school teacher and 3rd grade was my favorite grade.  That is probably why I had it in my  head that I wanted to teach 3rd grade so bad...mistake!

So, back to the new school and all it's resources.  I was on the playground one day and one of the teachers told me that I would be taking a new class at recess (or was it gym class?) to help my speech.  You see, I had a trouble pronouncing the 'r' sound, they would sound like 'w'.  So if I wanted to say 'rose' it would sound like 'wose'.  Or if I wanted to say 'Rhonda" (my mom's name), it would sound like 'Wanda'.  At my low income school, they didn't have the resources to send a child to a speech therapist, but at my new school they did.

For two years I went to lessons on how to improve my 'r' sounds.  I remember flash cards and a Mickey Mouse game.  Looking back, I think it was one of those things that really help shape my self confidence and alleviate my frustrations.  Before I got help, I had trouble spelling and having people understand me, which is so frustrating to a child.  I would sound a word, but say it wrong because of the 'r' sound turning 'w' when I spoke.  When you have to say something over and over again, it is so frustrating.  Like when my little sister was born, my teachers asked me her name.  I said, "Tori".  They said, "Towi?"  "No, Tori". and we went back and forth a few times before I just gave up.  I am actually getting frustrated just thinking back on it.

After those two years, my speech problem was pretty much fixed.  I still have times when I say the 'r' sound wrong, but very quickly correct my mistake. (and I kind of look around to see if my speech pathologist is coming. LOL). I really wish I had her name, she was great!

To sum it up:  Get your kid some speech help if they are having problems.  It might be 'cute' to a parent, but as time goes on, your child might become more and more frustrated.  Some will even give up on school because they get further and further behind, which would be awful.

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