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Learning To Read: A Teacher's Experience

Updated: May 6, 2019

I thought I understood the anxiety and trauma that a beginner and struggling reader would face. I thought I knew it all until I met Jack.

Taking The Frustration Out Of Learning To Read

Learning to read is one of the most important things a child will undertake during his school years. Reading is one of the building blocks of a child’s future.

After teaching for over 30 years I thought I understood the importance of learning to read and the anxiety and trauma that a beginner and struggling reader would face. I thought I knew it all until I met Jack (not his real name).

Jack's mom came to us frustrated because her teenage son had been through many different reading therapy and intervention programs through the public school system and through private professionals and organizations, all claiming to be able to fix his inability to read. But after all this, both Jack and his parents were left feeling hopeless and ready to give up. He was in high school and he couldn’t read.

Jack moved my thinking from big picture to small picture… I noticed his depression, rejection, fear of the future, loneliness, low self-esteem, rejection and sadly, suicidal thoughts. All from his inability to read.

But I had a plan. Once arriving at APA, we proceeded with our reading assessment which revealed he was reading at an early Grade One level. So Jack entered into our APA Reading Program.

For the first few lessons Jack told us how he felt shame, rejection, loneliness and fear about being ridiculed because he couldn’t read, “I know I'm smart about stuff like social studies, history, science and science fiction. But deep down I felt stupid and that there's something wrong with me, I don't belong.”

After a few lessons it was obvious that Jack had greater confidence and strength. He was finally motivated and excited to learn to read! Within three months Jack was reading at almost a Grade Six level and we were even working on developing his writing skills. He had an endless supply of ideas and getting them on paper was so freeing and rewarding for him. His confidence soared, he was reading chapter books and going to see author talks at the public library. He was an entirely new person!

learning to read

I’ve seen it over and over again with young children, teens, and adults…how people’s live's have been affected, how they have hid their inability to read, learned to cope and how that coping took up all of their energy. They shut down, became depressed, some turned to drugs and alcohol. There was no way to numb the pain of feeling that they didn't quite measure up, that there was something deeply wrong with them.

The reality is that there are many ways to teach reading. With our experience as teachers and reading consultants working with beginning and struggling readers, we have created a proven reading method that will help any non-reader develop successful reading skills, develop confidence and help them find a love for reading.

Because reading should bring joy into a person’s life, not frustration.

Find out more about APA’s successful Reading Program by contacting us at

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