How can a teacher help?

It was very exciting to actually get this question asked by a teacher.

https://youtu.be/l1ELKXkBz0w

Usually mothers ask this question and they want a teacher to support their child – and ask me how to explain their child’s needs to their teacher.

Answering that question is actually tricky. Most teachers will be confronted by a child, whose dyslexia has not been corrected. Therefore I have aimed to focus on the most important aspect of support for these children: understanding how they think and how they learn.

If a child had done a program that is not involving sounding out (like a Davis Dyslexia Correction Program) or finished the Focus First Online Program – http://www.focusfirst.org/literacy, there are more things a teacher could do to help, e.g. how to help the child to regain their focus; how to read without sounding out, how to fully comprehend and how to remember what they have read.

On the video I am actually addressing what is fundamental for teachers to know:

These children are not slow, less intelligent, lazy, broken or disabled. These are not attributes they may voice, but suspicions a teacher may be harbouring.

Nothing could be further from the truth:

  • Dyslexic children are highly intelligent, but would be finding it harder to be focused for prolonged periods of time.
  • Dyslexic children will present as creative and intuitive, but may struggle to reign in their creative mind on a task at hand
  • Dyslexic children may come up with phantastic stories, but struggle to express them in writing, without going off on tangents
  • Dyslexic children will be challenged spellers, being able to spell words one day, but not a week later
  • Dyslexic children may have a wonderful sense of humour, excelling in art and/or sport

Believing in their abilities, strengths and intelligence is the first step.

I love Goethe’s poem on self-responsibility, that ends with these two sentence:

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse

If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

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