It was my first day with my group of Tier III 2nd-graders, and they were ready to go around the room and introduce themselves. It was going fine until one student said something surprising.

“I’m Jacob, and I can’t read.”

It was odd. I learned later that Jacob was a competitive gymnast and a smart kid, but he chose to identify himself as someone who couldn’t read well. I told him that I specialize in reading and that I’d help him fix that.

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  • About the Author:

    Hollen Carpenter is a reading intervention specialist at Fallston Elementary School in North Carolina. She can be reached at