Good Job, Leo!
This is a flash fiction story about a tutor and her student’s success.
“Miss Lana, can you help me?”
“Sure, Leo! What’s going on?”
“I don’t…know how to read,” he whispered.
“That’s okay, Leo,” I told him. “Do you know how to read any of the words on this page?”
“No,” he started to cry. “My mommy and daddy never taught me how to read.”
This made me really sad. Leo’s parents had died two months prior to our first week of tutoring together. From what Leo’s school told me, they died in a plane crash on their way to Hawaii for their anniversary. Since then, Leo’s teachers and his grandparents couldn’t get him to focus on his school work or even talk about his parents. But I knew I could reach this boy.
“What about your grandparents? Do they help you?” I asked.
“I don’t want them to help me! I want mommy and daddy!”
I nodded my head and quietly sighed, understanding how Leo felt. But I knew Leo had more potential than he realized at the time.
“Hey, Leo,” I said. “We don’t have to read right now. But can I tell you a secret?”
He moved his head to face me, his blue eyes focused on mine. He nodded slightly. This is good, I thought. This is the first time he made eye contact with me this week.
“When I was your age, my mommy died.”
“Really?” he asked, wide-eyed. “Where was your daddy?”
“I never met my daddy. So after my mom died, I got really sad. I didn’t want to read or do anything.”
“It’s really hard. It must have been really hard for you, too.”
“I know it is. It was hard for me. But you know what helped me?”
“I talked to my teacher about how much I missed my mom. She asked me if I wanted to write a story about my favorite memory of her. And the story made me happier.”
“But…I don’t know how to write.”
“That’s okay. I wasn’t very good at writing, and I didn’t like it. But I told my teacher a story, and she wrote it for me. And then guess what she did?”