The author has me hooked. After reading the prologue, I’m vested with a certain interest to learn more about Katherine’s perspective on stuttering. She expresses her feelings, fears, hopes, and priorities about her speech. She lets readers in on what’s going through her mind in the moment just before the stutter. And how aware she is of her speaking strengths and weaknesses.
When interacting with her peers, she “knows” she will be dysfluent on her name. She knows that when she’s speaking alone or to an animal, specifically her puppy Holly, she will always be fluent. Katherine expresses hope; stating if she just tries harder she can “fix” her speech. Her goal is to make her speech “normal” just like “everyone else”. She’s organized, more organized than I’ve known any of my students to be, making a list of tasks she plans to complete in order to increase her fluency.
Or maybe not. It makes me wonder if maybe some of my students do make lists like these? Do they feel comfortable enough with me to discuss and share these things? Am I giving my students enough tools they can take with them from the classroom to work on fluent speech on their own as they choose? Are students at my schools being bullied? Would teachers communicate that to me? so that I could intervene? I would be more than happy to go into the classroom with any of my students as he/she would present information about stuttering to classmates. Should I be more proactive? interviewing teachers so that I might uncover this information on my own accord.
This section of the book, has also inspired me to look for role models – as Katherine says, from hermits to celebrities – that look like my students, whom they could relate to, and look to for motivation.
-Katie Cohen, Maupin and Roosevelt Perry Elementaries