Monday, August 8, 2011

I Hope I Get A Second Chance

Would you believe that I couldn't read until I was in 7th grade?  You would think someone would have caught on... Right?  If it was a word I could easily sound out, (meaning no words that had stupid laws like "I" before "E" or two letters like "p" and "h" coming together to make an "eff" sound) I could read it.  But other than that... I was completely illiterate.

If you would have told me (even after learning how to read) that I would one day want to be a writer, I would have for sure rolled my hormonal teenage eyes at you, called you crazy and then asked you if you read my 6 page crap of a senior paper.    Me and English...didn't mix.  Even today I still struggle with it terribly.  I'm the worst speller in the world and grammar?  Forget it. Thank god (or maybe Bill Gates) for Microsoft Word for the ability to spell-check and check my grammar, or you would never be able to understand my blog posts. Today this is still something I'm completely self-conscious about. I hate reading in front of others for fear that I may have to sound out a word... I mean who sounds out words at 29?  No one I know!

At a young age I was diagnosed with dyslexia.  My test scores were getting worse, however I knew the stuff.  One day a teacher gave me a science test verbally and I got almost every single answer correct.  I pretty much sucked at everything. I hated school. I felt beyond inadequate and completely stupid and that label "special Ed" was plastered to my forehead.  Teachers did their best to help, but for some reason...I just couldn't get it!

Luckily, I have an amazing mom who would  fight for me each year to get the help I needed.  She knew I could do more, I just needed someone who would teach me the way I needed to be taught.  You see, IEP's have come a long way since I was in school.  My mom had to work at getting me an IEP... now-a-days, EVERYONE has one.

In 7th grade I had the opportunity to be put in a class with other 7th graders just like me.  This was not something I wanted because it just further confirmed that I was not as smart as the rest.  However, this teacher turned out to be the only person in 12 years to really understand how my brain worked and she taught me the way I needed to be taught.

Though this teacher wasn't always the nicest person to be around, and would sometimes see a chair flying across her room (NO JOKE), she "got it"! She knew how to reach a part of our brains that other teachers got frustrated with. She knew we needed to be repetitive about our learning, and do it until we got it.  She cared about us succeeding, and for that I'm more grateful to her than she will ever know.

Like all issues, until you go through it you just don't get it.  This teacher not only changed my life by teaching me how to read, she made me acknowledge that I could do it.  Without her, who knows where I would be today.  I'm sure it would be the farthest place from this blog.

Two weeks ago I saw her in a Target.  However, I just kept walking.  Oh how I wish I had stopped her to see how she was and tell her what an impact she made on my life.  I wish I had told her that I am able to write today because she invested her time in me and believed in me more than I believed in myself.

My SIL encouraged me to write her a letter. I guess maybe this is my first step in that direction.  I hope I get a second chance to tell her how much she meant to me.

17 comments:

Kristina said...

Wow! I though that I was the only one! When I was in school my first grade teacher was NOT very helpful in teaching you how to read. If I could not say a word right she would yell at me in front of everyone and make me cry! Oh how I HATED school. My mom would go and talk to the principle and he would ALWAYS back up the teacher. I HATED reading and still do in public. In second grade I had a great teacher who really helped but it wasn't until my parents started homeschooling us tat I really learned to LOVE to read! I as about 12 before I would sit and read a book on my own. My mom ALWAYS had us reading for school but I did not really enjoy it till about 12 or so!
Looking back on how hard it was for me to read I am really working hard to help my kids to read and enjoy it. We are homeschooling and I am going to make it such a happy time for them! I don't EVER want them to feel stupid like I did! That is such a HORRIBLE feeling!
Thank you so much for sharing your story!
I just want you to know that I really enjoy your blog anf that you are doing such a good job!:)

Sassytimes said...

This is wonderful. You should find her and mail this to her. I'm SURE it would make her year. As teachers, all we want is to make a difference to our students. ...in this day and age, it's difficult.

I'm glad you had such a terrific teacher in your life!

Jill said...

send her a letter...I was a teacher and to have a former student come up to me and thank me makes me realize that if I made a difference in 1 person, then what I did mattered!!

Hi, I'm Susan! said...

beautiful post lyryn. love your strength, determination and never-give-up attitude. it's one of the things i love most about you! you are an incredible writer... and it always seems that out of our greatest weaknesses God's strength is revealed in us. you display this beautifully!

Sarah-Life is what you make it said...

you should write to her. It will make her feel good!!! I know I have gone back to my old schoold and thanked them (I too have not had an easy time learning)

Lauren said...

What an incredible story! and I think that you should totally write her letter, it would make her feel so wonderful!

Trina said...

Wow, I had no idea! I've always thought I was slightly dyslexic but I just get numbers backwards sometimes and get my G and J mixed up. It didn't affect me like it did you. So glad you had a teacher that could help you! I know she would really appreciate a letter, write it ;)

Brittany said...

So sweet! I love hearing stories about teachers who really touched a student's life. I hope to do that one day, even just once. I bet she would love a letter from you! Best of luck!

chambanachik said...

What an awesome gift she gave you, and in turn, all of your readers.

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

Well you already know how I feel ;) write it, write it, write itttt ;)

Ashley said...

Congratulations to you on overcoming this! I just needed to comment and say, you are NOT kidding when you said everyone has an IEP! I do billing of IEP's and there are TONS of them... these days even 2 year olds have them :) Congrats again for overcoming this and being brave enough to share it with us! Beautiful story!

Raven said...

awesome story! And the chair "flying across the room?" um, I might need to know more. That sounds fantastic.

But I also so know what you mean about wanting second chances when something like that happens. It has happened to me a few times, and I always wish I woulda, shoulda, coulda.

Writing her a letter is a really good idea :)

Alicia said...

Oh my gosh...I totally think you should write to her!! That would really bless her socks off, Lyr! I would have never known you had a problem with writing because your writing just flows!!! Praise God!

Seni said...

Your letter will be treasured by your teacher. I am sure it will make all the hard work and late nights worth it. Thanks for sharing your story.

Nessa said...

I was diagnosed when I was 14... WHY did it take so long?? With a tutor and new ways to learn I went from D's and F's to regular A's! Send that wonderful teacher a letter! It isn't very often that people take the time to tell those teachers how they have changed us.

Nessa said...

I was diagnosed when I was 14... WHY did it take so long?? With a tutor and new ways to learn I went from D's and F's to regular A's! Send that wonderful teacher a letter! It isn't very often that people take the time to tell those teachers how they have changed us.

Ashley @ KiwisandCocktails said...

aww, you should contact her. I bet she would LOVE To hear how much she meant to you and your achievements!! I am VERY close with a teacher I had in 7th grade and 8th grade. When I was in 11th grade, she came to the high school and I made sure to get her then. She was the only teacher who taught the way I needed to be taught. To this day, I send her xmas cards and keep in touch. She also wrote my college recommendation letter.