Things like this make my day: I have a student who is very low, who I am considering retaining. A couple of weeks ago, she finally started making the connection between letters and sounds and was able to read a simple, predictable story. After she read it to her partner, she came up to me and told me she read the whole thing by herself and gave me a great big hug (first time, ever). Today, she was writing in her journal and usually just writes random letters without any sound connection. She called me over to show me what she had written and she was able to read it back to me. Some words were sight words that she copied, others were kinda phonetic and others I couldn't read but she could. She reread what she wrote and gave me the same hug of appreciation as before. It makes all the bad days worth it.