DCLC Student Tyhessa Santos (shown above) has been making great progress in her adult literacy studies. Recently, she moved up from an Adult Basic Education (ABE) class to a GED-preparation class, both taught by DCLC Instructor Amy Rosenberg. Tyhessa also made a significant gain on her most recent progress test, raising her score to an extremely high secondary education level, essentially to the 12th-grade level.
On June 1, 2022, Tyhessa visited her former ABE class to share some insights about how she made such a big improvement on her standardized progress test. Her remarks were “electrifying” according to Amy, and the class responded well.
Here is what Tyhessa had to say—captured and formatted with help from Amy.
The key is understanding the meanings of the words. You might think you know the meaning of a word, but it might mean something else in this context. Look at the sentence that the word is in, and that can give you a clue as to the meaning. Once I figured out the meaning of a word, I knew which answer choice to pick. When you read books and articles, you will learn new words and their meanings.
Slow down in your reading to see what the sentence means. Don’t rush through reading. If you read too fast, you won’t know anything about what you just read. You won’t be able to answer questions on it.
So slow down. Think about what the words mean and what the writer is saying. Don’t block it out by skipping over it. Reread slowly the part you didn’t understand. You might be able to figure it out.
We can understand more and learn more, but sometimes we cut ourselves off. We can’t be afraid of it. Sometimes we stay in our comfort zone, where we KNOW what we can do. We just read as far as we understand and don’t look deeper.
We may read something that we don’t understand and think, “To heck with that!” instead of opening up our minds to receive more. We lack confidence and think that we can’t understand more. But when we slow down, when we look for the meaning, we may find that we start to understand it.
When you read a lot, you will find yourself better able to understand when you read something new. And you will know more vocabulary words.
The end result when you keep studying and trying can be a high confidence level, a boost in your score, and feeling better mentally and physically. It changes your whole mindset. There are lots of pluses to not being afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You feel more energized and powerful. You know you can do this! You ARE smart. Your brain can take a lot of information. You can process things. It’s gonna blow your mind!
So step out of that comfort zone, that familiar place where you know exactly what you can and cannot do. Step into the unknown, where you will discover even more!
Tyhessa's words of wisdom can help all of us as we pursue lifelong learning and discover our true potential!