If you are a teacher, how many children do you currently teach or have taught that you think may possibly have dyslexia and/or dyscalculia?
Parents, do you recognise these characteristics, possibly in yourself or children? A child who is bright and creative but finds it hard to keep up with the rest of their peers may just need a bit of extra support in lessons to keep up or they may have dyslexia and/or dyscalculia.
My own personal journey of being labelled at school as of above-average ability, gaining, 10 GCSE’s, 2 A Levels, a 2:1 degree, Qualified Teacher Status, Advanced Skills Teacher Status, and starting my own business LP Dance in Education in 2013 has accumulated in a realisation and a professional diagnosis in January 2018 that I have dyslexia and dyscalculia.
As I reflect on all that I have achieved (through sheer hard work!) it makes sense that I have found my creative outlet through creative educational dance.
Whilst training to be a PE Teacher back in 1996 at Liverpool John Moores University, it was my first lecture on ‘Creative Educational Dance’ from Manny Emslie that had me hooked, inspired and totally wowed.
Dance suddenly had a whole new dimension.
It had meaning and depth.
It wasn’t just a way of learning different styles, techniques and keeping physically fit and active.
It was a way of developing my creative and critical thinking, expressing my thoughts and ideas and using my imagination in a way that I had never had the opportunity to do before.
Whilst a pupil at school in the early 80s – mid 90s, unfortunately, my own creativity was suppressed. It wasn’t something that was encouraged or praised at school.
Instead, I had to work extra hard at Maths, Science and Languages – subjects which I found difficult but was told that I needed them in order to achieve and be successful in life.
What is Success?
But who actually defines what achievement or success is?
Surely achievement and success is subjective and linked to an individual’s makeup, their personality and their strengths? Not to what is the educational buzz is at the time determined by the government.
One of my favourite ever TED Talks by Sir Ken Robinson ‘ Do Schools Kill Creativity’ really encompasses my own personal feelings in the fact that if in schools we don’t allow for opportunities, encourage and praise creativity in schools not only are we letting down many potentially very successful pupils, our children are leaving school without the skills set to be able to think creatively, see connections, see the bigger picture and come up with theories, technology and art that will continue to shape and change our world.
Just imagine if Einstein’s mother had listened to the teachers who said that he was a lost cause!
Are you a parent?
If you are a parent reading this and you would like some advice or support, I recommend you contact your child’s class teacher or school SENCo.
I can also (from personal experience) recommend contacting the following:
Laura Prince Founder of LP Dance in Education
Educational Dance Services to Schools EYs – KS4
‘Bringing the Curriculum to Life through Creative Educational Dance’