This exchange began 2 years ago and was posted on BeingDyslexic.co.uk Community
Forum. Please note the dates
of each post in red…
Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:45 AM
I'm a first grade teacher in an inner
city school and I have an unusual story to tell.Ten years ago I had a very bright
(but very frustrated) student come into my 2nd grade classroom. I was warned
early on that Miguel (not his real name) was a major behavior problem and was
making no progress whatsoever in reading or writing.
From day one I knew that my
colleagues were not exaggerating. I tried every trick that I knew to get Miguel
motivated and moving in the right direction, but nothing worked. As the year
went on, Miguel could see the other children in the class making great progress
in their reading and writing, yet here he was unable to decode even the
simplest kindergarten readers.
Needless to say his behavior went
from bad to worse. Almost every day I actually had to have Miguel physically
removed from the classroom by the school social workers - sometimes more than
once. (To this day he is still the only child has ever punched me out of anger
in the classroom.)
Then one day, during the third
quarter of the year, I was observing him in a small reading group. One of the
children across from him got stuck on a passage and he leaned over to look at
that student's book.
He read the line perfectly to his
classmates.... UPSIDE DOWN !!!!!
I was totally taken back. I asked him
to continue reading and he proceeded to finish the page.
Working with him one on one, I
encouraged him to read everything upside down. He intuitively knew that he had
to start in the lower right corner of the right page and work his way backwards
up the page!
We began with the easiest books
available, but he didn't want to read what he called "baby books".
Within a week he was reading early 2nd grade books fluently and with better
than usual understanding - all upside-down!
I told the class how proud I was of
him and that he was the "best upside-down reader I had ever seen". I
even sent him to the principal to do a "cold read" on a grade level
book, and she sat open-mouthed as he read the whole book perfectly - upside
His self-esteem soared...
Miguel's behavior improved
dramatically and he left my class in June reading "on level". The
following Fall I received a call from his mother telling me how well Miguel was
doing in school and that he had taught himself how to read right-side up.
His mom called again the following
year to tell me, once again, how well he was doing in school and thanking me
for the work I had done with him.
Can I explain how Miguel was able to
do what he did? No, I can't.
Was Miguel truly dyslexic or was this
something completely different? Again, I don't know. But I do know
that it worked for him and, in this case, the ends did justify the means.
Almost ten years had gone by and I
had almost forgotten about Miguel and his unique talent. Then, in January of
this year, I discovered I had not one, but TWO boys with the same
In addition, I found that one of
these boys also WROTE upside-down ! But I'll save that story until my next
Posted 30 August 2009 - 09:22 PM
hi! im teeco!
hahahahahahahahaha!!!!! XD reading
that brot back lots of memories! you are a great teacher! i knew from the start
i could read better upside down, so when i red to my class upside down i thot
it perfectly fine! but i will quote what my teacher said "reading upside down
is a waist of time! lern it the rite way or you will be stuck upside down
forever!" so she tore the book away and gave me a "baby book",
of cource the kids laghed, i was in 3rd grade reading a kindergardeders book!
and i red that 10 page book in a tiny bit over an hour when i was made to read
it for homework. every word is a chalenge. so please be nice and keep letting
your kids read upside down!
Posted 31 August 2009 - 05:05 PM
Your story is a very sad one. That
teacher did you, and herself, a tremendous disservice. Obviously, if you were
reading upside down, you had to have known all of your letter sounds and most
of the so-called sight words. You really did know how to read - but just not in
the conventional way.
I found that with the three boys in
my classes who had this "talent" their reading levels soared
But the most amazing thing is that
less than one month after they started reading everything upside down,
they started reading right side up - all on their own! All three can now read
very well BOTH ways.
It may not be too late. If I were you
I'd start reading everything upside down and see what happens.
Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:22 AM
thanks for replying teacherman! yes, you are rite, i
should start readingh more things upsidedown. it seems to me that wen i flip
the book the words on the page dont move or disepear anymore, thats why i think
some of us can read better upside down. and thank you also for the
"so-called sight-words" you are a guy who truely gets all of this,
and i hope people recognise this and thank you for it.
Posted 18 September 2009 - 04:33 PM
Thanks Teecobug for at least giving
it a try!!
I'm willing to bet (and I'm not
really a betting man) that if you spent 10 minutes a day reading upside down
you would see a huge jump in your fluency and understanding in a remarkably
Please take me up on my bet - a
friendly bet of course - and let me know how it goes..
Good luck !
Posted 20 September 2009 - 02:21 PM
your on! it might even help me with
my spelling to.
10 minuts a day sounds nice, not to
long, not to short.
just wanted to say, if all teachers
where like you, i wouldnt have so much trouble in school.
Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:19 PM
anyway..... its working! i am reading much faster and it
hasnt even been that long! you are briliant. thank you SO much teacherman!
Almost two years later…in deviantART forum
Posted October 16, 2011 – 09:21 PM
It was hard finding a way to get in touch with you. I had to join this
forum just to be able to drop a note to you.
Remember the posts you made to the dyslexia.uk forum a couple of years
ago? I suggested that you try reading everything upside down. You said you tried
it and it seemed to work.
Did you continue?
Posted October 17, 2011 – 05:36 PMhey!
how are you? wow, it's been forever...
haha it's more then just a forum, its a whole world for art! it's
amazing. not for everyone, but amazing for artists. you can find some really
cool inspiring stuff on here.
yes! i'm sorry i have not been back, my life blew up...
it worked wonderfully, and even taught me how to spell. i am positive
if you look back i spelled terribly, and now i rarely misspell anything! i no
longer have to read upside down, or even backwards, its just sort of a skill
now. dyslexia still plagues me, but i think it always will, it's not something
to just go away. i have trouble connecting words to meanings, symbols to
meanings, that crap. its hard. i forget how to read sometimes, it gets me
teased a lot. but i can live with it. i found out i have C.A.P.D too, so i
can't hear correctly. when i hear "hello, how are you?" i hear
something like "how hello you are?". i have dyscalculia, so i have trouble
with numbers. i'm basically screwed in the current way of the world. so i'm
going to move to africa as soon as i can, so i can do what i love for the rest
of my life.
haha sorry for ranting. i love words, and writing is my passion now.
thank you teacherman, it means a lot that you remember.
how has teaching gone? how are the children? can i help with any
Posted October 24, 2011
Can I use part of your last e-mail and your comments on Beingdyslexic
on my PIreading web site??
Posted October 25, 2011
of course! that would be awesome! i hope it helps a lot! ive been trying to log
onto the dyslexia forum but its not working. ill get a new one tomorrow, right
now im on the road and my starbucks stay is over.
Comment: Here's the link to DevianArt.com, on which Teeco is displaying (and selling) her art work. I'm sure she would appreciate your support. Be sure to click on "Slide Show" in the upper right corner of the screen to really get a good look at her work.