What do students think?

Some years ago, I asked a group of students (age 11 to 18 years) what helped them and what hindered them in class. These are their responses.


Teachers who go too fast and expect too much.

Being expected to produce the same amount of work (as non-dyslexic pupils) in a given time.

Teachers who do not stick to the point.

Teachers who know I am dyslexic/dyscalculic but do not help me enough. Being patronised.

Too much copying off the board and/or dictating notes. Rubbing work off the board too soon.

Having test results read out loud.

People who make fun of me or who are sarcastic.

Being told off when I ask a friend for help.

Confusing dyscalculia with stupidity. Lack of understanding and empathy from teachers and other students.

Being made to answer maths questions aloud in class and without enough time to think.


Help being given discretely and quietly.

Being given more time (and thus, maybe less examples for homework).

Handouts with summaries of work (and including visuals to aid understanding).

Marking work in dark colours, tidily and discretely. Appropriate praise.

Working in smaller groups.

Trained teachers who care.

Grades which show individual improvement.

Marking which is clear and helpful.

Catch up exercises (targeted at my specific problems).


Back when I was Principal of my award winning school for students with SpLDs, we built our intervention and prevention for anxiety primarily on two key principles, ‘Attributional Style’ and ‘Transactional Analysis’. But that’s a book!!!

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