The reason she chose her profession was to save those slipping through the proverbial crack of academia. The mountains that were the butt cheeks bordering said gigantic crack were ominous but needed climbing if the kids were to be saved. Priscilla was that mountain climber. She equipped herself with strategies to pierce the bubble of failed attempts to educate the ones being lost. She learned about her students before school even started.
Those who slipped through the crack were not the lowest in the class nor the highest academically. She knew it was those like Charmayne who could hide by knowing enough one day and figuring out how to garner knowledge from the others on the rest of the days. She made notes from day one and learned to notice the slightest signal that something wasn’t clicking. Charmayne eluded her for about a month. The day Priscilla noticed she wasn’t quite getting it was the day Charmayne had not finished her assignment on time. It was later Priscilla realized the student had been unable to successfully copy the correct answers quickly enough.
Priscilla had Charmayne stay in at recess and explained it was not a punishment but a time for her to help her. It was a phonics lesson. Priscilla asked Charmayne to tell her what sound the first word began with and Charmayne could not answer. Priscilla asked her about the ending sound, then the next word. A first grader should have been able to see a letter and make the sound. Priscilla, after testing Charmayne, realized she couldn’t distinguish left from right or first from last. Within the recess time, Priscilla gave Charmayne a kinesthetic tool to help her remember. It was a few days later during another phonics workbook lesson when Priscilla saw Charmayne use that tool. She smiled to herself and imagined herself partway up one of those mountains holding Charmayne’s hand. It wasn’t long before Charmayne proved to be the one of the best readers in the class.
b : a narrow opening <leave the door open a crack><cracks between floorboards> —used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left out <a player who fell through the cracks in the college draft> <children slipping through the cracks of available youth services>