I’m Having Trouble Reading. Literally.

Here’s the problem. I’m reading silently and I see a word that’s similar to the one there, but it isn’t the actual word. My brain catches the error and says that sentence doesn’t make since with that word. Go back. You read something wrong. I go back and correct my error. For example, I might read “found” instead of “find” or “of” instead of “off.” I have always read well aloud or silently, so I don’t like this one bit.

It could be a vision problem. Last year for the very first time I had to get glasses because I cannot see far away. The doctor says I read so much that I haven’t practiced viewing things from afar. Now I’m wondering if I am not seeing things close to me either.

I wonder if I’m developing perception problems.

Am I suffering from Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS)? The description LouAnne Johnson offers in The Queen of Education leads me to believe I am not, but I plan to visit the Irlen Institute and the National Reading Styles Institute to find out more about SSS.

I didn’t realize my problem was bothering me until I was in the middle of a presentation with a colleague at AASL (American Association of School Librarians) about reading aloud when the thought popped in my mind, What if I miss a word or say a word that isn’t there and don’t self-correct? Well, of course I stumbled over the passage I was reading aloud, but not because I selected the wrong word, but because I was worried about doing so. Such is the power of thought.

I share this story because reading The Queen of Education made me realize that as a teacher I must continually “come clean” about my own struggles with literacy so that maybe students will confide in me about there’s and we can find solutions together. As it stands, good readers, and I still consider myself in that number, make novice readers feel we get everything right the first time, but that’s not always the case.