Dr. V.S. Gayathri
Role Of A Teacher In Helping A Dyslexic Learner!
“Serving students with dyslexia in the general education program requires that the entire staff recognizes the individual needs of each student.”
The role of an educator in understanding, grooming, and teaching dyslexic learners is a crucial part of their growth and development. An insightful teacher works with a child with dyslexia on different aspects, and their perception plays an important role in the learning process of the child.
A teacher is on the frontline and at the forefront of a system that can help dyslexic child overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
At Made By Dyslexia, their mission is to train every teacher to spot, support, and empower every dyslexic mind. This mission is aligned with the following 3 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we aim to achieve this by 2030.
SDG 4 Quality Education
SDG 9 Industry & Innovation
SDG10 Reduced Inequality
Did you know that the 2021 “Dyslexic Dynamic” report with global recruitment giant, ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions, finds that by 2025 humans and machines will split work 50-50? The 50% of ‘human’ skills needed map directly with Dyslexic Thinking, concluding that dyslexics have exactly the skills needed for the workforce of today.
Keeping this perspective in mind, here are some of the reasons why educators need to understand Dyslexia.
1) Re-defining Dyslexia: We are yet to get over the stigmas of the label ‘dyslexia’. This contributes to the fact that dyslexia remains hidden in most schools, with 4 in 5 dyslexic children (80%) leaving school without their dyslexia being identified. Dyslexia can be spotted by its strengths as much as its challenges. Once it is redefined, we can acknowledge both dyslexic challenges and strengths. This will help us to remove the stigma and empower such learners.
2) Incorporating them into the workforce: Dyslexic Thinking skills include soft skills like innovation, problem-solving, creativity, adaptability, leadership, and critical thinking. There are several pieces of evidence where world leaders are talking about incorporating Dyslexic Thinking into the world of work. So, learners need to be groomed today for an inclusive workforce tomorrow.
3) Creating a positive impact: Teachers need proper training to identify dyslexia because early identification is crucial for dyslexic learners.
Recent research found that:
At around 5 years, 1 in 3 dyslexic children are aware that they can’t do what other children can
By 7 years, this increases to 2 in 3
4 in 5 dyslexic learners felt that ‘being dyslexic' helped them develop the perseverance needed to succeed
For teachers, identification is also crucial to their understanding of the child in their classroom, it helps to know there is a reason why a child is not able to memorize their spelling, or why they are having trouble reading. Knowing they are dyslexic means you can clearly identify that they need extra support.
4) Understanding equality: Standardised tests cannot be the way to assess dyslexic learners. Because spelling, punctuation, grammar, multiple facts, and instructions are parts of dyslexic challenges. So, it is important to understand the needs of dyslexic students and adjustments are made to enable them to demonstrate their abilities and readiness for the workplace.
Dyslexic students face significant educational and legal stigma, and there is a scarcity of information, both among educators and the mass in general.
“Although some teachers may feel they are not equipped to teach reading and writing to students with dyslexia, they are probably very capable of providing intellectual engagement and joy in learning, which are equally important.”
Teachers, in schools and other academic institutions, need to understand and accept the fact that one of the most significant factors enabling dyslexic learners to overcome their learning difficulties is the implementation of a wide variety of methods and approaches along with guidance and support.
Helping a dyslexic learner in class would require certain changes in order to facilitate the learning process and make the learner feel safe and comfortable. Educators will need to make themselves aware of the fact that dyslexia is a serious learning difficulty, which commonly exists, but can be successfully dealt with.
In the following blog, we will talk about different strategies that educators can adopt to assist and support dyslexic learners and adapt themselves to help them in every way.