About Me

Currently in my final year of teacher training at Plymouth University. Passionate about making a difference to childrens lives through teaching. Follow me on twitter @trainieteacher

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger...

This is a blog post that is not going to be easy for me to write however I feel I need to do this because I am sure there are many others going through or have been through what I am now. Throughout I am going to be as honest as I can and I would be very grateful for any comments or advice you may have.
For as long as I can remember I have never found writing very easy, particularly spelling and grammar. I have also always struggled to put what I am thinking into words. I know in my head what I want to say but when it comes to writing it down my mind goes round in circles. However I have never thought anything into this because no teacher has ever really shown any concern about my writing ability and I have always done reasonably well academically.
Since I have been at university I have become extremely sensitive about my spelling and grammar difficulties. This is mainly down to comments from peers and also from occasional feedback in assignments. But again no lecturer ever showed any great concern with my assignment writing and overall my grades are extremely good. When discussing dyslexia at university I often thought that sounds like me but I was too embarrassed I suppose to take this any further. And since no one else has ever suggested it to me I thought I was just overreacting. So being the person I am I just bottled up how much these comments upset me and the thought of dyslexia and just but it to the back of my head.
Then on Wednesday evening my demons resurfaced... A comment of my blog post about my spelling and grammar made me hit rock bottom as they say. A lady from Canada expressed her opinion that because I am going to be teaching children I need to be a role model where writing is concerned. I would like to say a big thank you to this lady because she pushed me to stop being ashamed and to go and do something about it.
So on Friday I took a dyslexia test at the university which showed that I am most definitely dyslexic. However I do need to take a longer exam to be properly diagnosed. This result was a big relief because after all this time I now know why I have always struggled. It may have taken twenty-one years to be diagnosed but better late than never. But then again I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed and upset. The first thought that crossed my mind was how can I teach children how to write when I can’t do it correctly myself. Although on teaching practice I always go out of my way to ensure I use the correct spellings and grammar when in the classroom. The second thought that crossed my mind was that I can finally get the help I need to become the teacher that I want to be. I can now get help with my spelling and grammar in order to be a role model for children’s writing.
Over the past few days I have had time to reflect. I may be dyslexic but nothing has ever stopped me to do the job that I want to do, which is to be a teacher. I have always done everything in my power, without any help with my writing, to get where I am today and I feel extremely proud of myself for achieving this. I want to inspire children that do struggle in school to know that no matter what they can achieve their dreams and ambitions. As they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
I hope this post inspires other people to share their personal stories with others. I also hope that this post encourages people who may be in the same situation as me to take that difficult step in the right direction. It is not easy but remember when you hit rock bottom things can only get better.


  1. I'm fortunately not dyslexic and my spelling is fine, however my Grammar isn't particularly brilliant (as I'm sure anyone willing to comment on my comment will testify) - the bottom line is, the way you have approached this is exactly spot on. I've come across plenty of teachers in my career whose spelling is simply appalling and not because of dyslexia. I say power to you Becy - and well done on confronting your demons...

    Now, where's that spider gone??!!?!?!

  2. Well done Becy! You will be able to get the support you need and you will also have an understanding of those youngsters who have problems too.

  3. Today I thought I would begin blogging, and Becky, yours is the first blog I have come across. You have certainly set a high standard!

    I think that you have nothing to be ashamed of, think of all those children you will inspire. Just to paint a little picture: dyslexic children in your class will come away from your lessons thinking “Miss Allen has dyslexia, she has succeeded and is doing something she loves, I can too” – what a truly inspirational role model.

    Also, far too many times have I been in schools and seen a child struggle to read or write and a frustrated teacher then proceeds to enter the staff room at break time and moan, “I don’t understand why Johnny isn’t making any progress with his reading or writing”. You’ve been in Johnny’s position, you know how he feels and, again, will be able to relate to him on a level that other teachers will not be able too. We need more people like that in schools.

    I would like to finish by seconding Marks comment – power to you Becky!!!

  4. A great post Rebecca. I also only got diagnosed as dyslexic when I started at university. I'm now doing a PGCE too, and find being dyslexic helps me in the classroom. It gives me a different way of thinking and approaching a topic to my peers, and I can approach topics in a non-linear way. As for spelling in the classroom, I've turned it into a game with my class. They get to spell check my writing on the wipe board. It's surprising how many pupils now reflect and scrutinise the notes I put up for them. Good luck with your PGCE!

  5. Becy, I enjoyed reading this post, and I can appreciate how difficult this must have been to write. Keep persevering with this blog - it will be a way for you to express your ideas and practice articulating arguments - this will stand you in good stead for future academic work and enable you to gain more confidence with writing. Keep going!