Being asked to read out loud in class, especially unexpectedly, can cause fear and anxiety among our kids. It triggers stress and can contribute to accumulating trauma when not supported by best practices.
In “A Light Within My Dyslexia” (available on Amazon) we meet up with Beaver the bright and inventive main character as he navigates the daily ups and downs of living with dyslexia.
“Jackrabbit was trying to answer a question that Teacher had asked, but next to him Beaver was busy trying to ?nd his notebook and pen. He was scattering things from his schoolbag onto the ground. Everything spilled out but his notebook and pen (which were lying hidden underneath the pile of grass and twigs he was using for a seat). Out fell sticks and tree sap, pine nuts and sketches, and a stone he’d used for a hammer. Teacher was getting a little annoyed at this distraction (as was Jackrabbit), and she spoke directly to Beaver. “Beaver, since you’re so good at making us pay attention to you and your…hmm…?ddling around, perhaps you’d be so kind as to read the question on the board, out loud.”
Beaver’s body and brain were now shocked into alertness. “Read out loud?” That was his worst nightmare. Beaver was smart, but when it came to reading, that was another story. Reading was hard for him, slower than most of the others. He never liked being put on the spot like this. He felt more nervous and scared than usual because of his missing pen and notebook. “Stupid pen,” he muttered. His pen was obviously hiding among his supplies (“all his junk” as his father sometimes called his important things.) Beaver knew in his bones there was little chance he would escape this present situation unharmed.
“Uh, um…yeah,…ok,” he stammered. He looked at the board. He could see the letters of course, but they didn’t really assemble themselves into helpful patterns. Owl, the old wise one of the village, had once told Beaver and his parents that Beaver “has trouble with phonics.” But all Beaver understood was that he couldn’t catch on as quickly as the other kids when it came to reading and spelling. So here he was, staring at the board and the words on them.”