In my other life as a teachers aide I work with a young boy named Asif. Asif and his family came from Pakistan 3 years ago. Unfortunately, because of a learning disability Asif has not yet learned to read at his grade level. But this has not stopped Asif in learning many other things. Each day in the limited amount of time I have to spend with Asif we go over the letter sounds, review the primary site words and read and re-read words and stories from his reading books.
The pride in Asif's eyes when a new word is discovered, and as more words are mastered, is something to behold. The past 2 years I have worked with Asif have brought many rewards for the both of us. Asif's letter recognition skills are improving everyday. Sometimes Asif will surprise me with the knowledge of something I did not know or realize that he knew.
Asif also has a cute sense of humor that sometimes causes me to laugh out loud. Once when another student had disturbed a photo of my son that was sitting on my desk, Asif, with his limited English, told the other student that they had better watch it because my son is a cop. Then he straightened the photo placing very carefully back into the original position. It still makes me smile to think about it.
On Valentines Day this year I gave Asif, and a few of the other students I work with, bags of Valentine candy. Inside the bags were chocolate kisses and candy conversation hearts. I did not put any names on the bags I gave out I just put the same amount of candy in each bag. Later during a recess break, Asif came to me showing me a green candy heart that he held in his hand. I took the heart from him and read what it said,
His eyes sparkled mischievously, he said, "My name."
"Yes it's your name, I told him, Happy Valentines Day." I said and hugged him tight.