Chief Fuzzy Thinker
Boom, seven years ago it all became less “fuzzy”. I had always wondered why I struggled in school. I was a hard worker, but the amount of work I put in, never actually reflected my grades. Why did I have to work so much harder than everyone else? Why did I forget things so easily? It all made sense when I was identified dyslexic.
Leaving the corporate world behind me, I threw myself into the field of education, where I appeared to have a natural, wholehearted empathy with the learning difficulties of pupils, and a skill for encouraging the growth of emotional resilience and intelligence of pupils. It was wonderful to see them develop their coping skills, which would last their whole lives; supporting and maximising their potential learning opportunities.
Working in Welsh and English medium schools, but also through supporting my two teenage boys, I became acutely aware that whilst youngsters might soak up the curriculum, many lack the necessary skills and discipline to apply that learning. This is where I could see myself making a difference – the driving force to me becoming a fully qualified Learning Coach through Agored Cymru.
Furthermore, through my own personal experience, and from supporting in the classroom, it is evident how anxiety can ruin a pupil's confidence to achieving academic learning and personal development into adulthood.
Through practicing mindfufulness daily, and from delivering mindfulness to others, I can testify as to how it can help control anxiety, stress, worry and negative thoughts, fostering a “I can do it” attitude, whilst also reinforcing attitudes of kindness towards ourselves and others. All of this comes together, to create a positive experience not only for the learner, but also for those trying to support them.
Now I would be lying if I said I never worry anymore, catastrophise, or a let a negative thought enter my mind, but thanks to mindfulness these moments are few and far between, and when they do arise, I feel I am kinder to myself, as I now know I have my own “personal toolkit” to deal with them with more insight and greater perspective.
As if that wasn’t enough, it was a revelation for me to learn that not everyone views the world the same way as I do. As an Irlen Screener I can identify and assist those living with scotopic sensitivity, and therefore exhibiting difficulties with the process of visual information. Imagine how that affects learning!