Yes, I have Dyslexia!
Oct 18, 2021
By Shaynee Sherwood, Lower School Teacher
“What is it like having dyslexia?” I have been asked this question dozens of times since my own diagnosis in 2nd grade, and for a long time, I was unsure how to fully respond. Dyslexia is frustrating. It’s a lot of work: A lot of extra work. It’s working your hardest and still sometimes missing the mark. Or, oftentimes, missing the mark. It’s time-consuming. It’s knowing that you’ll almost always need extra time on language-based tasks. It’s being the last student to finish the test. It’s being the kid who accidentally left the completed homework at home. It’s taking twice as long to finish a chapter book. It’s difficult and baffling. Common words can suddenly appear like they are spelled incorrectly when they are not and vice versa. It’s struggling to think of the right word at the right time.
Dyslexia is one of the more challenging aspects of my life, but it is also one of the most rewarding parts as well.
It is interesting and complex and as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to love how differently dyslexics process information. I love how dyslexics view the world. Having dyslexia has given me such a deep and beautiful compassion for others. It’s given me patience and it has taught me to be tenacious.
As a teacher, I understand my student’s frustrations. I also understand the joy that washes over them when suddenly a new concept “clicks”. In my classroom, we refer to these moments as “lightbulb moments.” When a student is struggling, I’ll reassure them by saying, “I know this is not clicking right now, but your lightbulb moment will happen soon.” It brings me happiness when their faces light up and they make a new connection to the content.
Having dyslexia is a daily reminder that the world becomes a better place when all types of learners are helped and supported. The world has been molded by some great dyslexic minds including Steven Spielberg, Orlando Bloom, Leonardo da Vinci, Erin Brockovich, and Albert Einstein, and I’m so honored that I am now in the position to help these types of thinkers and dreamers.