The ABCs of Dyslexia: Encouraging Students In and Out of the Classroom

On March 21, Emory & Henry held a forum for all education majors and local teachers. This first-of-its-kind forum took place at the MCA.

Before it was kicked off, Janet Crickmer and Doug Arnold honored George Steinback, an education professor at Emory and Henry, who is retiring this semester.

After those acknowledgements, keynote speakers Catherine Gregory and Mary Stowe presented a lecture titled, “The ABC’s of Dyslexia.” It was about what students with dyslexia go through and how they are able to be successful in both the classroom and life.

For two education majors present at the event, Christopher and Peyton Roberts, the presentation was enjoyable and informative.

“I thought it was very informative (about dyslexia), some stuff you have no idea what these kids go through,” said Roberts.

Roberts also pointed out that he learned how they can actually overcome their challenges and be as successful as anyone else.

“From this lyceum event, I feel I can be a better teacher, and also a better communicator to any of my future students,” said Roberts.

Christopher’s brother, Peyton, was just as surprised on what he learned.

“It’s amazing,” replied Roberts (Peyton), “even though I’m not a teacher yet, I still learned a lot from the forum and feel much better prepared on how to approach students with dyslexia in the classroom and help them any way I can.”

Both of the Roberts mentioned that Catherine Greggory referenced a certain learning technique, in which educators share with students some celebrity stories who also have dyslexia such as Cher and Muhamad Ali so that they (students) can feel inspired by them.

And for Christopher (Roberts), this is definitely an event that will stay with him when he starts his teaching career.

“I thought it great to see all these teachers from different areas come together and better themselves on the matter of dyslexia,” said Roberts.

The forum was open and free to the public, but online registration was required for the education forum, which was officially titled the Twenty-ninth B.G. Raines Education Forum.

Although education majors and local teachers were among the largest number of people in attendance at the forum, civic and community leaders as well as faculty members at any position in the school system were also encouraged to come.

Other events at the forum, besides the initial keynote address and the ABCs of Dyslexia, were: a panel discussion on Project Based Learning led by area educators and the Virginia Teacher of the Year, Toney McNair from Chesapeake City Schools, and workshops featuring the 2016 McGlothlin Award Winner Alice Watson from Campbell County Schools.

– Will Seidel

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