Dyslexia and Me: Dear Teacher
I wanted to write to you to thank you for inspiring me at school. My overall experience was very negative and your classes are one of the few things I remember with fondness. After I left school, I went back to college where I was diagnosed as dyslexic. That was the reason I struggled so much in your class, couldn’t keep up with the coursework and only handed in homework once in a blue moon. You predicted I would get a 4 in my Standard Grades, but I walked out with a 1. This was because your lessons were so inspiring and interactive!
I found it very hard to learn from the course books you gave us. The content in them was dry and uninspiring, not to mention that it meant I had to read and then write answers for the questions after each section. I understood it, but I couldn’t write down cohesive answers from only reading the sources. It was the silly accents you put on to represent British, German and Russian politicians that still make me chuckle on reflection 15 years on. It was the discussions and debates that allowed us to raise issues that we felt important or that we didn’t understand. It was your telling us we unfortunately had to watch one more video on the First World War before we finished that section before playing us the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth. Bringing history to life and making it fun was what made me learn rather than my torturous battle with my undiagnosed dyslexia and reading.
I know you had a hard time when we were about to start our Standard Grades. When you became the head of the department, you really began to shine as a teacher. I understand the passion you have for history, that’s why I went back to university at 26 to study an undergraduate degree in History, Celtic and Anglo-Saxons Studies. It’s not the history that you taught us at school, but I feel the same passion for history as you projected in your lessons on the Russian Revolution. That passion was infectious and you really inspired me to enjoy history long after leaving your classroom.
So the next time you question ‘why am I in this profession?‘ after a hard day of laying down the law to unruly students, rolling your eyes at another excuse for students not handing in their homework before going home to a pile of paperwork, please remember that there is a child in the back of the class inspired by your teaching. They might not show you the gratitude at the time, but your interactive and fun ways of learning will leave an impact on them for years to come. I am so grateful that you were my teacher and so that is why I am thanking you 15 years on.
Posted on February 23, 2014, in Education and tagged Awareness, Blackadder Goes Forth, Blogger, Blogging, Classes, College, Dear Teacher, Dyslexia, Dyslexic, Education, History, Homework, Inspiration, Lessons, Letter, Reading, School, Specific Learning Difficulty, SpLD, Standard Grade, Teacher, Teaching, University, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.