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Teacher Appreciation

During Teacher Appreciation Month in May we asked educators, “What has been one of your proudest teaching moments while using a Wilson® program?” We were elated to receive responses from more than 2,000 enthusiastic teachers from across the country. Helping struggling readers overcome dyslexia, instilling an abiding love of reading, and buoying self-confidence were among the recurring themes.

“I have been teaching the intensive Wilson Reading System for 14 years,” shared New Jersey teacher, Amy Z. “Every year, without fail, my students amaze me with the progress they have made with this program. My goal is to not only teach the students to read, but to learn to love to read. The very best thing is when they beg to borrow books for the weekend or school breaks. That’s when I know I’ve hooked them on to a lifelong love of reading. Thank you Wilson, for giving me the tools to make a difference in the lives of my students.”

Read on for more inspiring moments:

“The proudest moment I have had while using WRS was when my practicum student stated one afternoon after successfully reading his word list with no errors, ‘I am actually a good reader, I just needed more practice!’ This was a game changer for him.  His mindset regarding his reading ability changed due to his success. Not only has this program helped him read with more fluency and understanding, but it has also increased his confidence exponentially, which is, in my opinion, the best possible outcome any teacher and student could experience.”

Joanna B., New York

“One of my proudest teaching moments using Wilson Fundations is watching my first grade students’ reading fluency vastly improve. I am happy to say that as we prepare to end the school year, thanks to this program my students are not only able to write and decode words when reading, but read out loud with fluency! Despite having many struggles along the way understanding and working hard to decode words as they became bigger and more complex, my students have learned many valuable skills to make themselves the strong readers they have become today. Just this week we were reading the story, ‘Brad’s Glasses.’ The students took a moment to read it quietly to themselves then each read a sentence out loud. The story flowed so smoothly and wonderfully I grabbed two other teachers so they could hear them read. It was by far one of my proudest Wilson teaching moments.”

Angi E., North Carolina

“I have so many proud moments. Teachers have told me that they have seen my students using the strategies I have practiced with them when they are reading. Students are tapping out sounds, scooping syllables and just generalizing skills taught to them while in my small group.  That’s exactly what I wanted to happen. The fact that test scores have exceeded my expectations is just the cherry on top! It’s working!!!!”

Rebecca V., Connecticut

“My proudest moment was when my firsties were doing a creative writing and working on their first draft. As I walked around the room to assist, most of the students were taping out words so they could spell the words properly. I was so excited that they were using the skills that they learned through the year instead of asking me continually, “How do you spell….”. Application of their skills shows me that the program has been successful. This is my 43rd year teaching and even though this wasn’t my “highest” group I’ve had, this has been my most successful group due to my using Fundations for the 1st Year!”

Cheryl G., Florida

“One of my proudest moments actually has to be shared with my practicum student … Aside from working with him on Wilson, I had no interaction with him in his academic classes.  In August, during his language arts class, my student was administered the STAR Reading which assesses a student’s Lexile level.  He was administered it again in December. I came into my room on the day he took it in December to find a note on my computer from him. It said, ‘My STAR level went up 77 points!’  Not only was I proud of him for his hard work and effort, I was pleased to know he realized how much our time working with Wilson had made a difference for him. The note remains on my computer today.” 

Amy M., Ohio

“Using the Just Words program with several 4th graders this year has truly been a delight. My students struggled in decoding, spelling, and used to avoid writing. As we met daily, they grew in their excitement about spelling and marking words. Their fluency began to increase. Their love for writing began to be ignited. Why? I think it’s the magnetic journals! Manipulating phonemes to build words now begins with a round of cheers when I say, “Okay, it’s time to take out your magnetic journals!” Learning has become not only multisensory, but contagiously fun. After one year, two out of three kiddos in my 4th grade group are near grade level for reading and writing. In my 5th grade group, one student mastered out of the program and no longer has a reading IEP goal. Another student went from kindergarten level skills to near second grade. Regardless of grade level, he is now able to decode multi-syllable words using syllables and phonics rules. Altogether, both groups have harnessed a love for word study and have applied their growing skills to authentic reading and writing. Indeed, learning can be serious fun!”

Elizabeth Y., Virginia

“It is too difficult to name just one proud moment, but they all come down to this…. When students, who have known failure by being non-readers, have finally learned to crack the code and become fluent readers, their entire world changes. They become successful at all they do. They are willing to put effort into tasks, even those that are difficult and challenging. Their self-confidence improves. And many are even inducted into the National Honor Society. I have been invited to these ceremonies on more than one occasion and the pride felt by the students, and me, is immeasurable.”

Susan C., Virginia

“Using Just Words, my proudest moment was seeing a struggling student go from sounding out letters in a word individually to hearing him read complete paragraphs fluently.”

Josh R., Ohio

“I have been working with a student for the past three years. She came in to third grade as a non-reader with extremely low self-esteem due to her difficulties with reading. I was assigned to work with this student and I must admit that it was quite challenging at first. She began WRS at Step 1 and is currently in Step 9, almost reading at grade level. Throughout the program, we have charted her word list, and this student always enjoyed choosing colors for her patterns. This year when it was time to start a new charting page, I asked the student what colors she would like to use. She simply stated, ‘I want to choose the colors of Harvard University because I want to go there some day.’ I almost teared up thinking about where I started with this student, to her now having dreams of attending an Ivy League school. This student is one of the most hard-working students that I have worked with and seeing her progress throughout these past three years have been so rewarding as a teacher!”

Bianca M., Rhode Island

“I worked with a severely dyslexic student about five years ago. He was very hesitant to use any strategies and hated being pulled out of class to come see me. He eventually finished the program and moved on to high school. I recently received a message from his mother that he is getting ready to graduate, was accepted into a competitive college, and is going into the medical field. She shared with me a video he made online to share his story about his learning difficulties and how he wouldn’t be where he was today without his Wilson teacher. Needless to say, my heart was filled with joy!”

Patricia T., New Jersey