Desire to Read

I believe that all students come into kindergarten with a desire to read. However, when it becomes hard for some students due to learning and language challenges, they begin to lose that desire and pretend they don’t care about reading. In fact, “the effects of falling behind in reading and feeling like a failure can take a large toll on kids. Children can lose all desire to learn to read or go to school. Some begin to act out in class or set low expectations for themselves” (2017). My goal as a teacher of students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities is to make sure they never lose that desire to want to read. Thanks to technology (i.e. learning ally, text to speech programs, etc.) my students are able to listen to higher level texts just like their peers. Even as I continue to work on phonemic awareness, decoding, and encoding, my students can still “have opportunities to learn and apply comprehension strategies as they reflect and think critically about what they read” (1996). Yes, on their own they may still be reading decodable texts with minimal plot development, but they can learn and engage in higher level thinking as they listen to the same texts as their peers.

In college, I took an Orton-Gillingham based course and I really felt like I had to learn a whole new language! Having never been taught phonics, I had not been explicitly taught how to break apart syllables or sounds to decode and encode. I was a good speller because I had a good visual memory and read a lot. Learning all the spelling guides was a real eye opener for me! I no longer had to rely on my memory but could apply rules to help me spell words correctly. Students with dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities need to be taught the code to the language to learn to read and spell effectively. They need to be taught that “the phonemes of our speech are represented by letters or collections of letters in our alphabet. By understanding the link between speech sounds in spoken words and alphabet letters and letter combinations in written words, children learn to read and spell” (O’Connor, 2014). It is essential that teachers use the method of instruction that works for each individual student. The education system can no longer function under the mentality that one size fits all because growing bodies of research show that children have brain differences. Students brains are wired differently and therefore they must be taught in the way that works best for their unique set of strengths and needs to experience success.


O’Connor, R. (2014). Teaching Word Recognition: Effective Strategies for Students with Learning Difficulties (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Publications.

12 Components of Research-Based Reading Programs. (1996). Reading Rockets. Retrieved 6 September 2017, from

Self-Esteem and Reading Difficulties. (2017). Reading Rockets. Retrieved 6 September 2017,from