Can people who are assessed as dyslexic make great teachers?

I was assessed as being dyslexic in my very early fortys whilst studying for a B ed in Education. Which I am pleased to say I came out with a 2;1 Hons. Since then I have been trying to get into teacher training via SCITT/ GTP. however in my experience I have found my pathway blocked because of my dyslexia, even the teachers at the school where I teach nursery children are predudise . What are your veiws, can people who are assessed as dyslexic make great teachers?

11 Replies

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  • Have you thought about specialising and teaching within the field of Dyslexia?

    I see no reason why you wouldn't make a great teacher or at least as good as any other teacher.

  • if you do teach 1-2-1 private lessons, i would be most interested, please feel free to message me, if this is something that you do

    sincere kind regard

    Pauline simpson

  • I'm a dyslexic Maths teacher and was rated Outstanding on my PGCE and got "Good" under the new OFSTED guidelines in my NQT year. My training was 7-14 PGCE so I can teach secondary Maths or primary. My dyslexia never really came up as an issue. I plan my lesson slides in advance and Smartboard software has spell-check. I'd struggle if I had to write everything on-the-spot whilst teaching and controlling a class, but that rarely happens. I know I'm naturally disorganised so I'm hyper-organised. I go to a quiet room to make parent phone calls and I get people to read through important e-mails to check they're ok before I send them.

    I've known several successful dyslexic secondary school teachers personally, and one guy who did our behaviour training was severely dyslexic but still a very successful teacher. But I've also had a good friend fail to be accepted onto a teacher training course for early years because she couldn't pass the initial literacy screening because of her severe dyslexia.

    In what way do you feel your pathway has been blocked because of dyslexia? Is it just prejudice or are issues coming up?

    Of course dyslexics can make excellent teachers, but play to your advantage. I would struggle teaching primary English because my spelling isn't up to scratch, but Maths is fine. My friend who was rejected even agrees that it was fair - she would struggle to teach primary because her literacy is so poor. I have another dyslexic friend in teacher training at the moment, and whilst I think he'd be a captivating teacher, he may struggle with organisation and timekeeping. Both these friends were diagnosed in primary school, whereas I didn't get picked up (or struggle) till Uni - they are far more dyslexic than me.

    Dyslexia causes more challenges in an already challenging job. My Uni knew about my dyslexia and I mentioned it casually on placement but it was never a big deal. The only time it came up was when my link tutor urged me to tell the school about my disability because it was clearly impacting me as I had failed to move all my work into the designated one folder instead of three on time. That wasn't dyslexic disorganisation, that was me not realising it was a big deal. Which it wasn't, many others did the same as me without being told it was symptomatic of a disability.

    I'm sorry, I've rambled. The main question is do you feel your pathway has been blocked because of actual issues or prejudice?

  • please i live in Leicester, do you do private maths lessons, would be willing to travel, within reason, by the way jolly well done

    sincere kind regards

    Pauline simpsonn

  • Thank-you for answering, it has been great to hear that sucess is out there, I do feel that it is mainly prejudice on the schools part, they are how can I put it in the dark ages regarding dyslexia, they do not understand it, even though they have had children who are dyslexic go through the school and still have 2 may be even more still stuggling, I feel that their needs are not being fully met and discuss with SENCO who is very good in theory but not in practice. However it all very well that I want to help these children but to some of my collegues I still feel that "your dyslexic so you don't know anything" is very much apparent. Shame because we are not in the dark ages.

  • I was saddened to hear your experience, but I urge you to keep on with your convictions regarding helping the children at school and continuing on your career path. I am a specialist Dyslexia Tutor, and I think that your viewpoints will help so much identify and understand some others who may be struggling (and let's face it there are also quite likely to be other adults in your school environment who are Dyslexic, who may not know it or are hiding it). In answer to your question yes those with Dyslexia can make wonderful teachers, especially as they have struggled themselves and can encourage children. You will have many strengths and gifts to offer the somewhat bound educational environment that focuses too strongly on Maths and English from such a young age. So keep going.. it may help to find a Private Tutor who can help you if there are still 'Skills Tests' to undertake as part of your teacher training, many things can be reasoned out and this approach is likely to work with you.

  • Thank-you so much for your answer, it is encouraging to hear others views and experiences. I am not going to give up and with a new accodemic term on the horizon now is the time to try again. Thank-you for your encouragement it means so very much.

  • I finished my Ba ed in primary education in 2006 and since I have been working supply and a couple of short term contracts. The school I have been in for the past 2 years in a job share I'm going full time in September and I'm going to be the SENCO.

    During my own primary education I was assessed as having strong dyslexic tendencies and assessed again during my degree for extra time during exams. During the assessment in university the ed psyc was baffled as to why I would want to go into a profession that highlighted my weaknesses and that I would struggle with.

    He was right it is a profession that constantly highlights my weaknesses and I struggle daily but I wouldn't want any other job. I feel that as a dyslexic teacher I have a unique perspective that teachers who didn't struggle with their education don't have. I understand and sympathise with children who have difficulties writing, spelling and reading and I'm able to share some of the strange strategies I have adapted to help me. I happily share with children and parents of children who have similar difficulties my experience and that if they work hard they can achieve just as much as their peers.

    It is challenging but very rewarding when you have children in your class who struggle with English gain their level 5s and win competitions for their writing.

    Keep trying it is possible and well worth it!

  • do you do 1-2-1 lessons for adults, am from Leicester

    sincere kind regards

    Pauline simpson

  • People claim that there is no reason why someone with dyslexia shouldn't be able to teach as long as they are prepared and get support. I completed a CELTA teacher course but found the anxiety coursed by dyslexia prevented me from being comfortable with teaching. If you are confident there shouldn't be a problem but sadly if you are like me teaching may not be for you. Go for it and see.

  • A trainee teacher achieved a 100% GCSE success rate for her science pupils in her first year of teaching and was promoted thereafter. You can read more about Claudenia Williams' story on Dyslexia Action's web-site. See:

    dyslexiaaction.org.uk/news/...

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