There is a slow, seismic shift happening in the education world that is long overdue.
The past can be summed up by this great cartoon:
In the old days some people were successful in school, but others failed, despite great potential. You were then referred to as being “a bit thick”. Those that were particularly successful at school sometimes found the real world relatively frustrating and so returned to school as teachers. And so the school system recreated itself in its own form, generation after generation, with little understanding of why a group of children in each year failed despite clearly being talented.
However, modern teachers are now far more aware of the great range of children facing them, each with their own talents and potential for a full life. It is a massive challenge to deal with that and it will always be a battle, but good teachers now do try their best to deliver information in a way that makes sense to everyone.
In my view there are many ways that a multimedia computer environment can help them with that goal. Often the core information can be delivered online in a way that more children can grasp. That then leaves the teacher free to focus on a tutoring role. We try to deliver that for reading progress, but it is equally appropriate for almost any subject. For instance, the Monty Python star John Cleese taught me double entry bookkeeping very effectively!
The important thing to understand, as a parent, is that just because your child is struggling in a particular environment does not mean that he or she cannot thrive with different support. I have never come across a lazy child, only ones that are struggling with the task and therefore avoiding it. If your child is not thriving it really is worth trying to understand why and then adjust things to achieve change.
Personal experience is not proof, but for what it is worth I have three children and every one of them has moved school by choice at some stage. There is always chance involved, but we were lucky and all three were happier and more successful after the change, despite every one of their schools being well run and successful as schools.
David Morgan is Managing Director of the Easyread System, an online sythetics phonics course designed to help struggling dyslexic and highly visual children improve their reading.
Thank you for your article .Our Son has just been assessed as Dyslexic .We are about to change our son’s school as they are ‘unable to meet his educational needs ‘ All that was on offer was 1 hour extra help a week outside the classroom which we paid for. It is a private independent school who have no idea how to help a Dyslexic child in the classroom or more fundamentally don’t really want to help because it might bring their stats down or is it that none of the teachers have had any formal Dyslexia training at all. .. or both in fact. It is a sad situation when there is only one qualified specialist teacher in a school of 350 chilldren .
When will there be even basic Dyslexic understanding for all teachers so children are not labeled as lazy, naughty or stupid in the classroom.Imagine being stuck in a room week in week out when you don’t fully understand the language that is being spoken, always behind , never being able to catch up.
Thanks to never ending research ( Easyread- 60 lessons completed so far) and a can do attitude we have and will continue to help and support our son to achieve his full potential. I have just heard him trying to read ( Diary of a Wimpy Kid )its the first time EVER he has tried to read anything on his own..hooray – there is light at the end of the tunnel-. Keep your fingers crossed we can find a good state school where they understand Dyslexia in all its complexities.With enlightened headships and qualified teachers all our children will fly.
Thanks for your comment Clare. I hope that the new school is more accommodating of his needs. Keep fighting for him! That can-do attitude and lots of praise for small achievements make a big difference for a struggling child.