Workshops for Teachers
What is the purpose of the dyslexia@bay™ workshop for teachers?
The co-ordinators of the workshops, Martin Murphy and Orla Callan have both taught in the classroom for 23 and 11 years respectively. Over the last number of years they have been working on a daily basis with people with dyslexia on a one-to-one basis. The focus of the workshop therefore is very much of a practical nature:
- Allowing teachers to understand the learning profile that lies behind dyslexia
- Giving teachers practical advice and suggestions to make learning easier for the student with dyslexia
Why should I need to understand the learning profile that lies behind dyslexia?
The dyslexia@bay™ System recognises that everyone with dyslexia is different; therefore students with dyslexia can exhibit diverse learning profiles. The Irish Government recognises that 10% of the population has dyslexia (with a further significant percentage having other reading and writing difficulties), yet a high proportion of these students are never diagnosed. Unless teachers have completed specific training on dyslexia, the needs of many of these students are never recognised or addressed within the classroom environment.
What would I expect to learn at the dyslexia@bay™ workshop?
The first part of the workshop allows the teacher to understand many aspects of dyslexia. Each aspect is fully explained and in many cases the teachers themselves will carry out simple exercises to allow them to experience what it feels like to exhibit those aspects.
- Eye-tracking difficulties
This introduction to various eye-tracking difficulties allows the teacher to understand why some students can exhibit the following while reading:
- Slow and laboured reading
- Using a finger to run under the line
- Losing their place on the page
- Skipping words or lines
- Rereading the same line
- Complaining of tired or uncomfortable eyes
- Rubbing their eyes, excessive blinking, eyes swelling up
- Lack of comprehension
- Difficulties copying from the board
- Spelling difficulties
The process of how spellings are put into long-term memory is explained which allows the teacher to understand why some students:
- can forget their spellings immediately
- can score excellently in a spelling test yet can not recall those words a week later
- cannot process words phonetically
- Writing difficulties
This section allows the teacher to understand handwriting and story writing differences among students:
- Difficulty writing along the ruled line
- Difficulty starting each line at the margin
- Mirror writing number and letters
- Losing the point of the story being written
- General classroom difficulties
During the workshop the following factors are alluded to and explained:
- Inability to follow a seemingly simple set of instructions
- Poor concentration skills
- Behavioural difficulties
- Co-ordination problems
The focus of the second part of the workshop is to give practical advice and suggestions to teachers to make learning easier for these students. The suggestions are realistic in nature i.e. they are simple to carry out, inexpensive and not very time consuming.
Emphasis is also placed on the fact that if the learning styles of all students in a classroom are considered via teaching instruction methods, this can result in increased performance from all students and fewer discipline problems.
How long does a workshop last?
School can request a half day workshop (a minimum of 3 hours is needed) or a full day workshop.
How can my school organise a workshop?
Over the past few yeas the dyslexia@bay™ Association worked with staff from over 400 schools throughout Ireland and the UK. In some instances a number of staff from small schools came together for a workshop while the larger schools organised a whole school workshop. The rule of thumb is 50 – 60 teachers per workshop.
Who do I contact to organise a workshop?
For further details you can contact:
Orla Callan (Tel: 01 2862537)
Martin Murphy (Tel: 01 2840563)