I’m new to blogging and not a clue where to start. I think it comes from my crazy urge to write a children’s book. I love books and always will. My safe place is a book store or a library – a passion I thankful share with my mum and boyfriend.
When I say I love books I have found that growing up books (any text of writing for that matter) didn’t exactly love me. The words would swirl all over the page and I’d read words that weren’t there. It would make sense to me but I would hear mum or teachers saying ‘read the words that are there’. Little did we know at the time, that my poor brain couldn’t help it.
I would dread the thought of being picked to read out loud in class for 3 reasons:
1. I was the shy child who didn’t speak to many people.
2. I got mixed up over words and would get sarky comments from the ‘loud outspoken kids’.
3. I felt stupid when I got it wrong.
All I wanted to do was read quietly in peace in my own world not share it to everyone else.
This was something I struggled with throughout primary and secondary school.
Year 5 came around and I found performing arts. Something mum and my dear grandma thought would be good for my confidence. Every week off I went to ‘H club’ where we would sing and act. I still struggles with reading the scripts but found that putting actions to words made it a lot easier for me, especially when it came to learning the lines. Drama was my favourite subject all the way through school, I found it an escape from everything else going on, just like when I read my books. I could hide away from bullies pretend to be someone other than me. School was not my favourite place – I think that’s one of the reasons I wanted to be a teacher. I want children to learn and grow and have a better experience than I did.
Something that has stuck with me since I was 17 and has spurred me on to do better, was something my head of 6th form said to me just before I left to start my performing arts Btec. I had told him I had an interest in becoming a drama therapist. To which he responded ‘how can you help others when you won’t help yourself. You won’t amount to anything’. Let’s just say I showed him. 2 degrees later I am doing my dream job of teaching.
Doubtful teachers wasn’t my problem though. I was still struggling with my reading, spelling was rubbish (still is), time keeping awful and never organised. Heading to uni in Lincoln I decided to take action and find out why I was struggling so much. I met my uni saviour in the form of Shan the dyslexia support worker. She did some tests with me which confirmed our thoughts that I was most likely to have dyslexia and had been keeping my struggles under the radar all through school. Off the the Ed psychologist I went and at the age of 20 it was confirmed that I had dyslexia. It took me a while to get my head around (and mums as well). I got through uni despite all the tears and tantrums. ‘I want to quit and come home’ was a phrase my poor mum heard down the phone on many occasions (at least once a term). My favourite part was writing my dissertation, even though most people would hate it. I focused on how drama can help people with dyslexia to learn.
I was finding even after uni that there was such a stigma attached to people with dyslexia in the why there is if you are suffering with a mental illness. The phrase ‘it’s just an excuse for lazy people’ was often heard. It made me ashamed to admit I was dyslexic.
But I no longer feel ashamed or afraid to speak out in front of people. – it’s my job after all. But I’m also not afraid to get it wrong. I will quite often get confused over a spelling if the children ask me and I’m not sure – thank goodness for computers and my fantastic TA. The children laugh with me about it and I am able to show them that it’s ok to get things wrong and get muddled it’s how we learn. They often ask what I mean by dyslexia. I simply tell them, my brain works a little differently to other people, I struggle with spelling and reading, but every day I practise and I learn from my mistakes. What I don’t tell them is the amount of times I was called stupid, thick or lazy. Or that I felt let down by my teachers at school. I don’t want them to see dyslexia as a negative but that I see it as a positive as I see the world in a different way.
For them I want them to find an enjoyment and escapism in reading just the way I do, disappearing off into a far off land. I would love for the children I teach to want to write exciting stories with crazy narratives, not just do the writing because we told them too.
If you are still reading 😂 I am going to be blogging about exciting school life and also writing some short children’s stories that one day I hope to publish.