Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our Reading Angel - Part II

Mrs. Coats entered our lives two years ago, when J started first grade.  His confidence level was at an all-time low, and he would frequently tell us he was the "stupidest kid in his class in reading".  He didn't get it.  He would do anything not to have to read - or at least try to.  Now I mentioned in Part I that I cognitively understood this.  I've had experience and training with dyslexic children, specifically with the Orton-Gillingham approach.  (If you haven't heard of OG and have a child who may be dyslexic, click this link!!!)

Mrs. Coats had this same background and training and had just moved to the area a few months earlier.  He husband had been transferred, and she had to leave the specialized school in which she worked.  When we first met her, I felt an instant connection.  She took J under her wing and encouraged (and sometimes in the first year had to coerce) him to learn and utilize the strategies that would help him overcome his dyslexia.  She was both honest and optimistic with me.  She was loving, sincere and patient with J.  The strides J has made these past few years are just incredible.

Now this is enough to make Mrs. Coats an amazing women.  But really, there's so much more.  You see, this woman gave us the gift of her faith as well.  When she started working with J, she told us how she was praying for him - and for him to learn to read.  Now I am a strong believer in the power of prayer.  I take my Christian faith and walk very seriously.  It embodies who I am and all that I do.  For her to share this with J and me spoke volumes.  How blessed were we to have her in our lives and to work with J these years...

But we received some heart-breaking news a little over a month ago.  As a matter of fact, I got the phone call as Gabi was driving me to the Boston Airport after our Nantucket adventure:  Mrs. Coats was moving back to North Carolina.  Her husband's work contract was not renewed.  Stunned silence.  Intense worry.  Both she and I were devastated.

J's last session was a few weeks later.  As we were saying our goodbyes, J gave her a card in which he wrote, "Thank you  for helping me learn to read".  I handed her a gift and card from Mike and me.  I couldn't even talk as the sobs were choking me.

We received a letter from Mrs. Coats last week.  I want to share part of it with you.

"...I do believe that God placed me in your world 
for a reason, and I am deeply grateful to our Lord 
that you allowed me to help you.  My desire is to 
serve Him by guarding others from suffering the 
debilitating effects that my brother suffered and is 
still suffering from being unable to read. I did not 
know what I would do to use my training when we 
moved to A****, and God opened the door and 
used you to show me."

J continues to get help from a specialist at school.  He is doing very well and loves third grade.  I attribute his success to many people.  However, it is Mrs. Coats, our "Reading Angel" who is in our hearts, who was placed in our path for a reason, who shared her own special ministry and faith with us...

18 comments:

  1. God works in mysterious ways, doesn't he? Bevy I am so glad you found Mrs. Coats and that she was able to be such a positive influence in J's life.

    I realize as a teacher, the gift I have to transform a student's life for the better. I take that very seriously as I am sure you, a fellow teacher do. Hugs!

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  2. Very Sweet, Bevy. Your son was very lucky to have had Mrs. Coates come into his life and he likely will always remember her or at least will always benifit from her early guidence and support.

    (((hugs)))

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  3. What a great story, and how wonderful to have Mrs. Coats to launch J's reading career! I am sure J will be able to encourage others to keep reading just as you are encouraging your readers to find the teachers they need for their children. To have a teacher that will pray for his or her students is, I think, the highest fulfillment of that calling!

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  4. Awww, I love this story! Mrs. Coats was a blessing and yay! J received both the gift to read and now has the confidence to believe that all things are possible!!
    xoxo

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  5. What a blessing you were/are to eachother. I am sure she misses you as much as you miss her. As a teacher, this story makes me want to be better. Better in many ways. Thank you for sharing!

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  6. The gifts she shared, how life changing! I am certain that Mrs. C. the reading angel with always be reading with J. What a heart-warming story!

    Love,
    Mrs. Kindergarten

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  7. *sniff, sniff* Love this story!!

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  8. How wonderful to know your child's teacher was also praying of him. You must have felt so reassured knowing God had a hand in all of it.

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  9. What a blessing. Thank you for sharing Mrs. Coats with us!

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  10. Bevy, let's pray for a new Mrs. Coats for me. :.)

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  11. This brought tears to my eyes. Having a brother with dyslexia, I know the pain that the child and parents go through. How wonderful that God blessed you with Mrs. Coats and her with your son. And so glad to hear that J.'s reading is improving. It's amazing to see the results of God's work. :)

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  12. I am back and my how I have missed you! I just spent way too much time catching up on so many of your posts!! I love all that is happening in your life and hope to be back to my regular Bevy stalking. :)

    I loved this post. I used to teach OG! I taught at Sandhills too. There are some SPECIAL people that God brings in to our life and we have to be thankful for the time we have with them. I know that you, J, and Mrs. Coats were blessed in knowing and working together with each other.

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  13. I am so happy that I was able to read this post while catching up on some blog posts before I go to my prayer group this evening. J will be in our book tonight along with Mrs. Coats. Thank you for sharing such an inspirational story.
    Best,
    Colleen

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  14. My Buddy could use a Mrs. Coats in his life right now. We are going to explore his previous diagnosis again and relook at his educational path. My Mommy instinct tells me he needs more.

    What a treasure of a lady and what a huge gift she is to the children she helps. I'm so glad your J got to experience Mrs. Coats.

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  15. She sounds just perfect and I believe she was meant to be a part of your life too, sorry it wasn't for longer (at least geographically speaking)
    xoxo
    SC

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  16. How inspirational! How happy! Now, (after your Favorite 15!) why not write a post about red flags/possible signs of dyslexia?!!

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  17. You nailed it with "ANGEL". I believe we all have them at one time or another. J is very blessed that he not only had Mrs. Coates, but he also has a very faithful wonderful mother too!

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Thanks for your sweet comments... They make my day just that more Golden!