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Baby Steps

Testing again today — we started the monthly Math Benchmarks. Mona raised her hand. I have been working with her one-on-one in math and the other day she had a break-through in understanding the relationship between multiplication and division. Still, tests are hard for her and they sap her confidence, so my heart sank as I walked toward her, fearing she would ask a question that test protocol would demand I not answer.

As I stopped beside her she looked up at me with a beautiful smile on her face. “I think I get it,” she said. I looked down at her paper and she had the first three problems finished and correct. I started to grin, too. “You do get it,” I said. “These are right!”

She didn’t do as well on the geometry and measurement section, and she knew it, but she glowed all the way through the rest of the test anyway — small steps forward.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. One step at a time.
    Beofre Christmas there are a bunch of exams here in Icelandic schools and I tend to tutor privately enough. German is hated by all kids alike.
    A couple of days ago I tutoured two 18 year olds. They had to order stuff in a restaurant and play it infront of their class. We came up with a funny dialogue that they got so engaged in, they were still acting when I finally got to throw them out of my house 🙂

  2. One step at a time will take someone on the longest of journies. Isn’t it great watching a child finally start to “get it”? You are still my hero!

  3. a beautiful smile on her face

    This the same Quilldancer I was readin’ ’bout last week? Y’gotta get the public health people in there PDQ. Whatever you got goin’ in that there classroom, sure looks like it’s some contagious.


  4. OC — same Quilldancer, but she seems to have a new attitude and more energy — and there’s this silly smile stuck on her face that just won’t seem to go away.

  5. Quilly-Sister, I was happy for Mona, but as I was reading this post, this is what I was thinking: “And it never changes – we go on through life being tested, and sometimes glowing from getting it – and sometimes not. Gotta enjoy the glow when you can”.

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