Little was known about dyslexia in the late 60s and early 70s. So, perhaps, it's not surprising that my principal should pronounce me uneducable. What is surprising is that teachers step up to prove him wrong. Student-first teachers have always been and will continue to be my heroes. I wrote this short story to honour them. May they and their students have a wonderful year together.
My Special Teacher
The recess bell rings. Everyone runs outside. I follow but at the last minute turn back and head to the kindergarten room. Unfortunately, some of my classmates see me. “Why are you going in there? That’s the baby room. She’s a baby. Baby. Baby. Baby.”
I want to hurt them... I want to cry... They run outside. I push open the classroom door.
My remedial teacher Mrs. McIntosh has stiff cardboard posters on her desk. She picks one up. “What do you see?”
The girl in the pink dress and party hat holds a red balloon. She’s surrounded by her friends and lots and lots of presents. “It’s a birthday party for the girl in the pink dress.”
“Very good, Leanne.” Mrs. McIntosh sets the poster on the table, but I’m not finished yet. “She’s turning five and wants a walking, talking doll. Her mom tried to buy her one but the store didn’t have any. So she bought her a nightie-nightie doll, instead. The doll’s eyes open and close.”
“I love your stories, Leanne,” she tells me and holds up another poster. “Is there a story in this picture too?”
A girl and her mom are walking in the rain. The girl has rubber boots; her mom is in high heels.
“The girl and her mom are going to church.” I begin. “But it’s raining and...” I love this game.