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Jessica Heintz

Education 3503
Jenna Lowe
My Literacy Journey
Throughout my life I have always struggled with English whether that was reading or
writing. I had influential teachers, but I also had discouraging teachers who made me feel like
my writing skills would never improve. Looking back at each event that occurred I have realized
that even though I might not have received any help, it helped me progress as an individual
learner and built on reoccurring mistakes. As I progress through my literacy story I will elaborate
on how each event helped me further my writing skills even though at the time I did not realize I
was.
It all started back in grade two when one day I was pulled from class to go to a smaller
classroom with an older lady. We worked one on one on how to pronounce certain words like
red and wagon. At the time I did not know why I was being taught this lesson, and I figured
every student was given the same lesson individually. After a while either my parents or my
teacher (cannot remember which one) told me that I was being taught this lesson because I was
having troubles differentiating my rs and my ws when speaking. After many lessons, by the
end of the year I was able to pronounce my rs and ws correctly. Struggling with pronouncing
my rs and ws was not the only thing I struggled with in Grade Two, I was also told that my
reading level was at the satisfactory level. When I was in Elementary school, receiving the
level of satisfactory meant that I was given a 3 on my report card. To elaborate further, this
meant that I fulfilled the expectations and requirements, but was not perfect. Basically another
way of saying that I met what was needed to go to grade three. This reoccurred in grade three
because none of my teachers at the time were pushing me to do more readings, or figure out what
type of readings would interest me the most. After seeing this on my report card two years in a

Jessica Heintz
Education 3503
Jenna Lowe
row was very discouraging, and made me feel very unintelligent. I gradually lost interest in
reading books recreationally and began to only read books when my teachers or parents told me
to. Being average in my reading skills followed me throughout most of my school. When I
would take reading comprehension tests I would always score between 65 and 80 depending on
the grade level.
The following year, in grade four, my teacher really liked having the students read out to
the class; however, my teacher noticed that when I would read out loud I would not add any
exaggeration or feeling to the readings. So again during lunches or after class we would practice
reading out loud. At this point I was really depressed about my reading and writing capabilities,
so I started to view myself as inadequate and stupid. I felt as though I was not showing any signs
of improvements. All through elementary I struggled with reading, writing and speaking. It was
very discouraging at the time, but looking back at the whole experience each time I learned more
and excelled. The strategies they used by pulling me aside and doing the lessons one-on-one
made it less obvious to my peers what was going on, and it allowed the teacher to focus on me
excelling. I was never held back, but I believe I could have been if they did not address the
issues when they did. Each one of the teachers made an impact on my life because I was faced
with some struggles in my literacy; however, they helped me overcome them and proceed
through school with my fellow classmates.
One of my biggest struggles in my literacy journey occurred all throughout grade twelve
where I was faced with problems inside and outside of the classroom. Grade twelve was a tough
year for me because there were many events that happened one after the other that made it very
hard for me to concentrate on my marks. In an exact timeline of my grade twelve year I started

Jessica Heintz
Education 3503
Jenna Lowe
partied a lot more which also expanded my friends circle, my grandpa past away after being in
the hospital for 2-3 weeks, I struggled with studying for my diplomas and applying to
universities, lost in touch with my close friends, and started battling with anxiety. Things were
just piling up left and right. Since my marks were so low, I feared that I would not get into any of
the universities that I applied to and that I would have to upgrade the following year. At the same
time, my parents had a huge influence on where I was applying to and what I was applying for.
My father felt strongly about me going into business because he felt there were more jobs and
opportunities for me after graduating. After many discussions with my parents and academic
advising I applied to the University of Calgary for business and open studies. Another struggle
that influenced my literacy was my English 30-1 teacher who was a very hard marker and was
not lenient when it came to adjusting marks. For example, my English teacher knew my grandpa
was in the hospital as I had to leave class a couple times, so I was very disappointed when I
asked if I could do any extra assignments to improve my average and she said no. I was going in
with a 73% average. It is not terrible, but the English diploma was worth 50% scared me, which I
was on the edge of me seat once diplomas were over because the only thing stopping me from
getting into business was doing really poorly on the English diploma. When I received the letter
that contained my marks it took me thirty minutes to build up enough courage to open it. I
opened up the letter and there in black ink said that I received a mark of 45%, which brought my
final mark to roughly 60%. I was mortified, even though I did not get into business I was still
able to get into the University of Calgary for open studies. This was very discouraging and made
me feel very incompetent. Reflecting on my elementary struggles, I did blame my incompetence

Jessica Heintz
Education 3503
Jenna Lowe
on my reading and pronunciation. After failing the diploma, it took me a long time to get over
my fear of failing again.
Looking back at having troubles with speaking and reading I do believe that it was the main
reason as to why I never enjoyed or succeeded in ELA, but it also has made me appreciate
literacy a lot more. With my failures came successes like achieving a B in Writing 1000. I wrote
a ton of papers, and learned a lot about where I needed to improve on my writing. Each time I
would get a paper handed back my mark gradually got better. Another success, one of which I
am very proud of, is being able to write songs. This showed me that even though I may have
struggled throughout the years, I was still capable of doing well in English as long as I dedicated
time and effort into improving my skills. I didnt start writing songs until January 2016 because I
was slowly figuring out the person I wanted to be, and it was a way for me to express my
feelings. Back in Calgary, I was holding on to many negative memories and eventually those
memories interpreted how I felt about Calgary. I didnt want to be in business and that was
reflected through the lack of participation and terrible grades. I was in my second year at the
University of Calgary when I finally stood up for myself and decided to pursue my dream of
becoming a teacher. It was hard for my father to grasp the idea (not sure if that was because he
didnt want me to become a teacher or if he didnt want to see his youngest daughter move away
from home), but I applied anyways. When I got accepted to the University of Lethbridge I was
excited because I got to start a new life and create the life that I wanted. So I packed my bags and
made my way to my aunt and uncles house. During my first year, I met a lot of sweet people, got
really good grades, and I started pursuing music again. When I first dabbled into writing songs I
would play random chords or riffs and hum melodies on top. Then eventually I started

Jessica Heintz
Education 3503
Jenna Lowe
freestyling lyrics, some would work really well and others didnt. Each song contains a piece of
me, which makes me hold them close to my heart. Over nine months I have completed eight
songs and another three that are still in progress. All nine songs range in genre from emotional
songs to funny rap songs. Im thankful for what I have learned about literacy throughout school
because I have tried to expand my songs by using poetic forms, characteristics and literary
devices. Through my literacy failures and accomplishments, I now understand the importance of
literacy and I hope to continue challenging myself to improve and do the best that I can.

Reflection
After writing and sharing my literacy successes and failures, I have come to realize that
these particular events in my life have shaped the teacher that I want to be. Through my early
experiences of teaching I have noticed that I tend to focus on those who struggle the most. I
would help those students one-on-one after the lesson was taught, so that I can make sure they
understand the instructions given. Then we would work together to practice different learning
strategies that will best benefit them to memorize and interpret the information. If students
presented the same literacy struggles as me I would make sure to work with them one-on-one
because I felt that it helped me to progress faster, and helped me to actually commit to fixing my
speech, reading and writing. It also depends on the grade level, I felt that the help I received in
elementary school was very helpful and I would implement those strategies into my students
learning. I wish I received more help in high school because I felt that the teachers were focused
more on the class average mark rather than the individual mark. Or the teachers were not
accommodating to those who needed extra work to improve grades. Everyone assumes that

Jessica Heintz
Education 3503
Jenna Lowe
students have to learn how to be independent in high school; however, if one consistently
struggles through a particular area of study they should be offered some assistance to improve
those weaknesses. My literacy struggles would be great examples to share to my students
because it demonstrates that you may continually fail, but with those failures comes successes.
Plus it would allow students to relate and achieve a personal connection to me as their teacher, so
they feel comfortable to come talk to me or as for help.
Artifact:
TONIGHT
Capo 4
INTRO is finger picked
Em-G-C-G
Our love together, just you and me
Well count the stars and live
happily
Cause tonight's the night where it
begins
oh what a special night it is
Your laugh makes me smile, from
cheek to cheek
Your eyes glisten with the
moonlight and the sea
Oh you have accepted who i am
So I cant ask for a better man
C/G-G-Em/G-D/G
So hold me in your arms tonight
Look up to the sky,
Cant you feel, oh do you feel
All warm inside
Cause I wanna stay with you all
night
And you make me feel alright

Em-G-C-G
Let's take a trip together, to the
USA
We'll board a plane and fly away
Oooh who knew wed be here,
together as one
We are inseparable, from dust till
dawn
So hold me in your arms tonight
Look up to the sky,
Cant you feel, oh do you feel
All warm inside
Cause I wanna stay with you all
night
And you make me feel alright
G-C-D-G-C-C-G-D
G-C-D-G-Em-C-D
Youre my fairytale, my Prince Ali
Your love is like a carpet ride
That look you give me, makes my
heart grow twice in size
even more, than before tonight
Em-G-C-G
Our love together, just you and me
Well count the stars and live
happily
Cause tonight's the night where it

Jessica Heintz
Education 3503
Jenna Lowe
began
Oh what a special night with my

man