I am you.” But am I Really?
When speaking to teachers at educators’ conferences across the country, Cindy
generally introduces herself at the onset of each workshop and includes the phrase, “I
am you.” By that, she intends to convey a similarity between Cindy’s classroom
teaching background of 17 years with that of the average educator sitting in audience
chairs of her workshops.
Perhaps it was the sheer number of times she heard those words come from her mouth
during the busy fall 2023 educators’ conference season, but Cindy found herself
questioning her own claim. After all, the last time Cindy headed up a classroom,
juggling the myriad of tasks demanded of a teacher was in 2007. The intervening 16
years have been dedicated to the art of teaching the dyslexic learner, and for Cindy,
that happened either 1:1 or in a small group setting. She advised many, many
classroom teachers, and fielded countless questions on best practices for helping the
3 or 4 dyslexic learners in most classrooms, but advising and developing strategies is
not the same as being the teacher in the room with a variety of learners. So the
question began plaguing Cindy, could she use her own advice if she were the teacher
in a classroom?
Honest soul searching has a way of opening doors, or finding doors to open. For
Cindy, the door opened into a small, combined third and fourth-grade classroom that
needed a co-teacher to job-share the teaching week for a semester. This type of
teaching arrangement was not new to Cindy, and the co-teacher is one with whom
Cindy shared a classroom in the past. Meetings with administration were held, Cindy
got her certification back up to date, and lesson plans were written along with a letter
to parents. Starting tomorrow, Cindy will discover the answer to her own burning
question. Her quest is to discover if is it truly possible to have a dyslexia friendly
classroom that meets the needs of mainstream learners as well as dyslexic ones?
Join Cindy for an update each month in this newsletter to see how the semester is
going, and what she is learning firsthand about creating a Dyslexia Friendly Classroom.
Smaller updates on specific techniques will appear more frequently on the Cindy Hall
Consulting FaceBook page, if you care to follow along there. As a dear veteran teacher
friend signs every email, Cindy will adopt the mantra, “Always a Learner.” You are
invited to learn along with Cindy each month.