I’ve been tutoring this girl named Bella for more than a year now. She had consistently been in the honor roll since first grade. Two months ago, her grades took a steep dive because of her math subject. It was going well until they started taking up addition and subtraction. She hates those. She loathes those.
And no matter how many times I’d try to teach her, she’d give up right away because she refuses to learn something she doesn’t like. So for a while there she kept on getting Ds and Fs, and I kept feeling more and more discouraged and frustrated.
Three weeks ago, Bella and I had an honest conversation. I told her that I decided I wouldn’t let her fail and that she shouldn’t let herself fail. So for three weeks I kept giving her word problems to answer, and she answered all of them with a straight face. Some days she would get it, other days she won’t. But for three weeks, we kept on it, studying all her other subjects on top of that.
On the last day, the day before her exam, I gave her one very long exam of my own. She didn’t ace it. She got a couple of mistakes here and there. But I was extremely satisfied with the progress she made, and I honestly think she was too. Still, I went home that night and prayed the hardest I had ever prayed for a student of mine.
Today, she showed me the result of her exam. She wasn’t smiling or showing any sign of happiness when she did.
She got an A-.
And when I smiled after seeing that, she smiled as well.