SIX-YEAR-OLD Arthur Freeman struggled at school due to a hearing problem - but now thanks to the dedication of his teacher there is no stopping him.
Due to the determination and hard work of Michelle O’Brien he is now working at almost the same level as his classmates at St Philip’s Catholic Primary in Middleton, Leeds.
His parents Kirsti and Arthur Freeman are incredibly pleased with her help and have nominated her in the Yorkshire Evening Post’s stars of the classroom competition.
We asked readers to tell us about teachers and teaching staff who had made a massive difference to their family or their school and this week are featuring the heart-warming stories before announcing the winner.
Arthur’s mum said: “My son hasn’t had the best start to school due to an hearing problem that was so bad he had started to lip read. At four he had to undergo an operation to be able to hear again, due to this he has been working at below his year level.
“He started with Miss O’Brien in September of last year and he has made so much progress; he is almost at the same level as his class friends. If it hadn’t been for her dedication and determination to get him to the level he should have been at he would have still been working a year behind, she was determined from the start to have him ready for Year 2, and he isn’t far off now.
“She has supported him and given him the confidence to excel and we couldn’t be more proud of them both.”
Miss O’Brien has only worked at St Philip’s, where the motto is “everyone is valued and learning is celebrated”, for 18 months. Already she is making a positive impact.
“I’m delighted, it’s nice to get a bit of recognition. It’s a nice school to work in,” she said.
Classroom assistants, teachers and a headteacher were all nominated in our search for inspirational stars of the classroom. As a special thank you we have a £100 voucher for Frankie and Benny’s at The Light, Leeds, and a £50 voucher for White Rose Shopping Centre for the winner.