How wonderful to read that the award for the outstanding new teacher has gone to a young man who was told he’d never become a teacher because of his dyslexia. In fact his parents were informed by his primary head that there was ‘a debate as to whether dyslexia really exists’.

 The Guardian reports that the first thing that new students learn from Edward Vickerman is that he won’t be writing on the board: ‘ He can’t do it properly’ said one of his students. ‘But he’s got his own brilliant system. It’s cool’. Unfortunately no details were supplied.

 It is astonishing that someone as dynamic and enterprising as this teacher – department head of business at the age of 26 after a career in hotel management – should have faced such blinkered thinking as recently as the 1990s. Luckily for Edward Vickerman his mum, a head teacher, and dad, severely dyslexic himself, along with many ‘brilliant’ teachers, believed in him. His determination and ‘vim’, ingenuity and communication skills were also vital elements that enabled him to break through barriers to achieve his ambition.

 Edward claims that being dyslexic makes him think differently. ‘It forces me to think outside the box; to find ways of using new technology to teach; to include everyone, in a way that didn’t happen to me. When I left school, I wanted above all to come back as a teacher. I wanted to change the system’.

 The report continues:

It is a measure of Vickerman that he was tripped up very early. He can take himself back, instantly, to a moment at the age of 7 when he was given a bag of wooden letters to try and improve his halting inability to write his obviously fizzing ideas down.

‘I had to out them in alphabetical order,’ he says. ‘ I got about as far as D. I couldn’t identify any of the lettes, or make the sounds they stood for. They could have been anything.’

What a terrific role model and inspiration.

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