25 of our top tutors received top-notch training on how to best-serve students with dyslexia. They spent the day with British Dyslexia Association instructor Brenda Ferrie learning about what it’s like to have dyslexia, how students with dyslexia learn, and how to support these students in a one-to-one context.
Tutors who attended our first ever dyslexia training day teach everything from English, literacy and foreign languages, to maths and science. They feel more confident and more informed about their students’ needs. One of the key takeaways from the day was the importance of early intervention for students with learning difficulties, and the serious impact that a tutor can have on a child’s future by shaping how they approach learning for life.
Our tutors know how to play to the strengths of dyslexia, in addition to addressing weaknesses. For example, while dyslexia is associated with auditory, memory, and speed problems, it is also associated with better than average visualising, lateral thinking, verbal communication and problem solving skills. As such, tutors learned that processes, such as maths, should be taught with visuals rather than oral explanations. Reading and spelling should be taught orthographically, not just phonologically.
The black text helps us understand how difficult reading can be if you had dyslexia. (The red text is the interpretation)
Tutors are also familiar with common signs of dyslexia, something they may be in a better position to spot than a classroom teacher. Students with visual troubles may rub their eyes, complain of their eyes being tired, or cover one eye while trying to read. Students may, more generally, struggle to recall instructions, or doing things in order (as sequencing is difficult).
To address this sequencing difficulty (trouble putting things in order), tutors were given a very useful planning strategy. By creating a diagram with 6 boxes, and labelling them “start, Next….End”, tutors give students the space to write down ideas as they occur, rather than forcing students to think in order from beginning to end. This allows students to hold on to and use their creative ideas instead of losing a good idea because they didn’t think of it at the ‘right time’. This visual lay-out also allows students to easily see when their plan is complete, or what has yet to be done.
Armed with specific strategies and a deep understanding of the causes and processes of dyslexia, our tutors are prepared to give students the support and knowledge they need to make the most of their future and fully access their education today, tomorrow, and for life.
“This morning gave me unexpected insight into living and learning with dyslexia. I now have increased awareness and understanding of how it might feel to be coping with learning with dyslexia. For this reason alone the session was rewarding and well worth attending. Thank you for arranging this for us.”
“Thank you for organising this; having access to Continued Professional Development through Tutorfair is definitely something that will make me recommend you to parents looking for a tutor/fellow teachers looking for tutoring work.”
“A real eye opener for me as I...am coming across it more and more and so this session was invaluable. Thank you.”