How many teachers have ‘learning difficulties’?

It’s uncanny how many dyslexic children you come across when home educating. Although maybe not – when you read stuff like this;

Almost two thirds of parents of dyslexic children (61%) said their child had to wait a year for help after being diagnosed, a report suggests.

Of 450 parents surveyed for the charity Dyslexia Action, 90% said teachers lacked awareness of the condition’. (See the full article here)

It’s a sad fact that if you don’t suit the systematic schooling that takes place in the classroom you’re unlikely to get an alternative. Thank goodness for home education; it rescues many of the children with dyslexia and allows them a different approach or more time to learn.

It seemed obvious to me, when I worked in a classroom, that if I had a bright, intelligent, cooperative kid who was failing to learn to read than I must be doing something wrong and needed to change my approach or find out why. But it appears most teachers don’t think like that. They like to think there must be something wrong with the children.

I also thought that it wasn’t so much that children had learning difficulties, it was that the system had difficulty with finding the right approach to enable them to learn. But I knew I was a bit weird thinking that.

The problem for children who cannot achieve in the way schools want them to achieve is that the blame is put all at their door rather than with the schooling. This eventually makes kids think that there must be something wrong with them and erodes their confidence and self esteem. That situation can cause damage that takes a hell of a lot of healing.

But, in most cases, if children are given different ways to approach their learning, as many home educating parents know, then often so-called difficulties can disappear. So much so that ‘learning difficulties’ don’t exist, except in exceptional circumstances, once you take the learner out of school.

Sometimes I felt like standing on the rooftops with a loud hailer and shouting DON’T BE SO NARROW MINDED! THERE’S MORE THAN ONE WAY OF LEARNING!

But I didn’t. We just quietly home educated instead. Home educating enabled both of our children to overcome challenges they faced, one particularly with reading (didn’t read a complete book till she was thirteen – now just got Distinctions at college and is on her way to Uni). We didn’t want to label it a problem, just something we needed to work around.

What we have had recently is huge problems with the college; in getting the tutors to think about changing their approaches to help students, which didn’t seem to have occurred to them!

Which leads me to ask especially in the light of this article; is it some of the teachers, rather than the students, who actually have the difficulties with learning!

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8 thoughts on “How many teachers have ‘learning difficulties’?

  1. It is strange that in this world of immense choice, our children do not have any choice really in the way they are taught. It is even stranger when we consider that our education is one of the most important aspects of our lives.

  2. I have always felt that the school system was doing so much damage to children in so many ways. Both my boys had struggles at school but are brilliant out of school. One size does not fit all in life so why should it in school.

  3. Oh yes I agree 🙂 One of my boys had not long been in school (having really enjoyed Preschool) when his personality began to change – so much that it was suggested to us we should have him assessed for Autism etc. He has always been a ‘unique’ character, but I grew more convinced that it was more a matter of him just not fitting in to ‘the system’. We took him about before he finished the year, and only two months into home ed he totally relaxed back into the loving, happy, funny little boy that he had always been – no Autism, no anxiety – just an individual. I could not be more grateful for the opporunity to educate my children at home! 🙂

  4. I agree wholeheartedly. When I was teaching in school it was one of the things I struggled to get through to my students: “If you’re not learning it’s not a reflection on you, it’s a reflection on me as your teacher. It’s my job to teach and I’m only being successful if you are learning. So if you don’t get something, please let me know and then I can see if I can work out a different way of helping you understand.”
    By the time they came to me in secondary school, they were so convinced that if they didn’t understand it was their fault as learners and so they were failing. Most of them then just kept their worries and misunderstandings to themselves. It became a guessing game as their teacher to figure out which ones really understood and which were just making the ‘right noises’ because they knew how to do that.
    I love tutoring & home education because I can get alongside each child and figure out where they are at in terms of their understanding. I can then adapt my approach to suit them – not me. It’s a much tougher way to teach, but so much more satisfying!

    • What an insightful comment – thanks so much for leaving it. Isn’t it a shame that the sensitive and inspiring teachers like yourself are just what kids need but usually the ones that end up leaving schools – as I did!

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