Learning can and should be engaging, exciting, compelling, stimulating, satisfying, inspiring, imaginative and even pleasurable. But fun?
I would argue that teaching offers the privilege of living a life informed by highly coveted values and opportunities that money cannot buy.
It is critical that teachers of students with dyslexia can see below the iceberg: All teachers need to understand that dyslexia is a mechanical disability, not an intellectual one.
The stories revealed intimate struggles and triumphs related to race, ethnicity and sexual identity, complex immigration journeys, past learning and employment obstacles, and other life-altering challenges and achievements, with accompanying slices of wisdom gleaned along the way.
It is important for me to assure my young students that many adults know what they know: encouraging cruelty and cultural division is unacceptable at school and a real danger to our political process.
Student-led conferences clearly establish that while adults are there for support, students are expected to own their own learning
"These modifications all embrace the principles of UDL (Universal Design for Learning) which caution against teaching to the imaginary average student. The truth is, our classrooms are full of students who are difficult to categorize because they present quirky profiles."
As a parent or teacher, accepting a child's academic imperfections in any area is a difficult line to draw. How much struggle or challenge should we accept? When do we allow a student be satisfactory at a skill? How do we comfortably define satisfactory? If we accept average performance, are we giving up on the student, or, worse yet, applying a "fixed mindset" when considering their potential and possibilities?
Since dyslexia is, by definition, an unexpected difficulty learning to read in individuals with average to above average intelligence, the ability to read and reference age-appropriate content is a game-changer for dyslexics. Finally, their access to reading content can be defined by their thinking skills, rather than their more limited reading ability.
Somehow, having their teacher champion easier books gave everyone in the class permission to focus on the pleasure of reading rather than framing it as a competitive sport or something that is doomed to be difficult but worthy.