Saturday, 9 May 2020

How can a dyslexic, become both a  teacher and a writer.

I spent many years struggling through academia never figuring why I was so different.
Most of my friends grasped the nettle, I didn’t. I always had a passion to teach and I always tried so hard to match my peers in school so how did I find out I was both dyslexic and dyspraxic?
I trained to be a mechanic on the advice of my father, even my family thought I was slow or stupid.
Can you imagine how life was and is for others like me? We spent our days in school being verbally abused and, in my case, canned most days.
I arrived at college on my fist day to start studying mechanics and Sat down, the teacher walked in wearing his white gown and a thought came to mind, I should be him.
From that very day I began my plan to become a teacher, I went to an evening class to get my Teaching Cert and took a part time job at a local college. The motor vehicle department did not want to be saddled with me, the newbie, far too much hassle for them.
They pointed me in the direction of a teacher called Mike, he was forming a bridge program to get students with learning needs on to main stream courses, he asked me and I said yes, he asked me again to be certain I said yes. At that point I had no idea I was Dyslexic Dyspraxic.
I wrote a program and took charge of a group of mixed students male and female with a range of learning needs, and suddenly the curtains opened and I started to seem me as part of the group, It was like looking in a mirror, an epiphany.
I was now in a position to write the wrongs and give something back, I struggled and worked hard to get my teaching cert, many on that course where pure academic and one guy continually took pieces out of me, so what are you going to bore us with next, he was an accountant and didn’t like my practical demonstrations, I guess being academic he didn’t understand a creative mind.
Spelling still haunted me in the early days of teaching, I had students correcting my work. I had without realising it created a non-judgemental bridge between me and the students, they rusted me.
I maintained a feeling of openness where no student felt isolated and they engaged and no one was made to look a fool, but I will admit I learnt so much about me whilst working with them. I learn ways of getting the information across that stuck with them, lessons become both structured and fun. I loved that phase of my life as I had become a facilitator, I felt such pride with my groups. They were now being taken seriously and achieving beyond many people’s dreams. I also became a much nicer person.
I was told during my school years that I would never string two words together and now I am realising how wrong the were, I still teach in my retirement and now I am a writer.
It is never too late to learn anything and make improvements as I have done, my journey is far from over. We must harness and live our dreams, for dreams can be made into reality.

Here is a link to my new children's books, spelling through adventures.

Dyslexia Toby © 2020 all rights reserved.

How can we improve retention by Dyslexia Toby  © 2020

Retention rates are so important; throughout our lives from early to later years.
Those with Spld tend to have great long term memories and poor short term memories; why is this!
We can accrue part of this to a lack of stimulation and different styles of tuition/instruction.
We need a clear and unobstructed path in order to encode (receive) all types of instruction and perform a given task.
When we are receiving visual instruction our attention rates tend to be far higher than if we are receiving aural instruction…this in part is due to our slower processing speeds and can also be a cause of slow processing speed along with poor short term memory.
Retention speed has a serious effect on how we take information from the whiteboard or power point (syntax).
We also have problems when we are forced to break words down to aid spelling and replicating from the board to paper; we can often look up two, three or four times to transcribe a word correctly. This will leave us well short come revision time as we only retain parts of words and indeed part of sentences.
Many left hemisphere linear thinkers tend to remember sentences with ease, and some even remember paragraphs in exact detail.
This can also cause problems with handwriting and legibility, this generally happens when a child has to look up at the board to spell certain words. They tend to catch up the others in the class by writing faster.

Many of us forget or fail to process a name of a person during an introduction, why, we are too busy processing a visual image of the person. This is why we never forget a face even though we have forgotten the name.
We lose things very often, like our keys or phone, quite often misplacing them when we arrive home, why, we don’t tend to find the journey home as stimulating as the outward journey. With the exception of leaving somewhere like school.
The brain process is so complexed, and anything can cause us to misinterpret or completely miss instructions!
Noise is a major factor, but we can also include a poor presentation or garbled or overly technical delivery.
Stress can be another variant in blocking pathways to retention. And slow processing speed as mentioned in previous articles.
Stress can have a detrimental effect on the many memory functions and also brain function,
Stress manifests itself in a variety of ways and levels; higher levels can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. We can take maths, for instance, this can be Intrinsic and a complicated formula or any give maths task can be triggered, extrinsic can be triggered by a prior fear or thoughts creeping into the mind.
Poor sleep patterns are another reason for poor retention; as is dehydration.
We can improve poor retention and slow processing by using many of the aforementioned processes.
Others can play their part. Schools can keep an eye on room temperature and the circulation of fresh air.
Many schools still seem reluctant to allow water to be consumed in the classroom, although many take a modern proactive approach.
Getting your children to read out loud and even at a low volume so only they can hear will improve retention overnight (introducing more senses)!
Bringing as many senses as possible also improves retention.

NB. This information is from personal experience and research and also partly sourced through the work of others. It is purely for improving the understanding of dyslexia and offering helpful advice. Dyslexia Toby © 2020