My Earliest Memory About Learning

The earliest memory I have of learning to write would have to be in preschool. The classroom was a rectangular shaped room with 4 main round tables where all the students sat, the teacher's desk was off to the side, and in the back of the classroom were toys and things for recess. It was warm, and it smelled like crayons. My teacher came in and said, "Good morning class today we are going to practice writing our names!" The teacher then started passing out the papers. When I got mine I looked at it, it was a big white sheet of notebook paper with my name written down one side. The other side had my name written with dotted lines, so we just had to trace it. The writing utensils we used were those red china markers; the kind that you peel away the outer layer as you use.

I remember being very excited to learn how to write my own name; the excitement was almost comparable to Christmas morning; as I traced the lines that formed my name I felt like I was on top of the world. There was still something missing; I looked down at my work and even though I knew that the letters I had traced formed words which were my name I didn't really understand it because I couldn't read yet. We kept practicing until eventually we got rid of the dotted lines and I was no longer just tracing my name I was writing it. I started to understand how the sounds the letters made came together to form my name.

After school I had my long bus ride home to my grandparent's house. I was so ecstatic the whole bus ride home. I couldn't wait to tell my grandparents and later my parents what I had learned at school. The bus dropped me off in front of their house and I went inside, and I told everyone about how I learned how to write my own name. They were all so proud of me, but I wanted to do more. I really wanted to learn how to read but it was so frustrating to me. I went back to my room and got out some of my favorite books like "Where the Wild Things Are" but no matter how long I stared at the pages those words meant nothing to me. They were nothing more than random letters all over a page.

I felt like there was some secret or something that nobody was telling me because adults read things every day without effort. Here I was struggling to read even the most basic books. I told my parents I wanted to read but my mother said, "You'll learn it when you're a bit older." That answer didn't make me feel any better about it either. The only thing I had to do was practice. My mother started me small, she had these cards with small words on them. She would scatter them all out and I would have to find each matching set of words. When either my Mom or Dad would read me bed time stories they would point to each word with their finger, so I could try and follow along.

It seemed like forever but finally after months of practicing I started to catch on and I could read some of those smaller more familiar words that I had been practicing with but if I got to an unfamiliar word it was like hitting a wall. I would try to read everything I could that I saw in public. I would try and read restaurant signs, street signs, anything that caught my eye. This of course got quite annoying to my parents because every time I couldn't read something I would have to ask them "Hey what's that sign say?".

Finally, after many months later I noticed I was getting better at reading and reading was also becoming easier. I kept practicing and before I knew it I could even read the comics in the newspaper. Eventually I could even read books by myself.

In conclusion I learned that it takes time to learn a new skill and there is no use getting frustrated because something that's hard for you is easy for everyone else. Who knows maybe things would have turned out differently if I didn't act the way I did. I might have ended up hating reading instead of loving it if I never took the time to collect myself and realize it was going to take time.


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