One of our students recently made a breakthrough in a very unexpected way. Like many other discoveries, this one too came as a surprise. In my English class, we had recently begun practicing cursive so students would be able to not only sign their names, but pick up a new way of thinking and writing. For this student, the surprise was being able to write at all. For years, he had struggled with writing words. He could draw words like “cool” and his name, but he had a very hard time making other words.
The big thing for him is that he is super intelligent. When it comes to spelling, reading, and grammar, he can handle it all. However, there was always this big block. Unlike so many other obstacles that students must overcome that are mental, this was a purely physical limit.
Here is where the magic happened.
I passed out worksheets to the class so that they could practice the basic shapes and loops. He did not seem to think that he could do it, but I thought that he deserved the chance to give it try. Unlike in writing print, cursive began to flow. When I saw him making the swirls and loops, I asked him if he wanted more and, sure enough, he did. Before long, he was making letters and shortly after he was making whole words. He wanted more of the worksheets so he could keep practicing. Shortly after that we found a style of writing where he was putting together a writing assignment for the first time.
He is still learning the cursive alphabet and he still needs practice in how to shape some of his letters, but he is able to write. For anyone, writing is an essential life skill, yet many people choose to avoid writing as much as possible. To not be able to write is altogether a different matter. To be able to find a way to finally surpass that barrier is simply invaluable.
Mr. Hurtado
The Broach School – Zephyrhills

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