Brittany Bloom has worked at Forman School for four years and currently serves as a Cognition and Learning Teacher. Brittany is also a Primary Dorm Parent in Carriage. While never formally diagnosed, she relates to having dyslexia.
“As a child, I struggled a lot learning how to read. I remember feeling behind my peers and spending hours trying to remember how to sound out words, pass spelling tests, or read as fluently as other kids my age,” she says. “Being asked to read in public, write on the board, have other people read my written work, or write anything on pen and paper was my worst nightmare. I could never understand why it was so hard for me and how other students did it so easily.”
Having struggled in school herself, Brittany says she teaches her students ways to overcome their challenges.
“As a reading teacher, I am able to relate to my students and show them that they are not alone,” she says. “Oftentimes, I find that I teach students strategies for decoding or fluency that really help them because I am able to remember exactly what they are finding difficult.”
She says she has recently started sharing more about her experiences with students, allowing them to feel less pressure in the classroom.
“I find that my students take comfort when I say that reading was hard for me and that I am here to help them feel more confident,” she says. “It is like they immediately relax and realize they don't need to fake it anymore because someone understands what it is like. It's almost [as if] they think she is one of us... she gets it.”
Brittany also encourages students to be open and honest with others about their learning differences.
“The more open you are about what you struggle with, the more people can help and support you so you can be successful,” she advises. “It might feel scary, and like you are the only one who feels like school is challenging, but the more you look around and really get to know people, the more you will realize there are plenty of people who are successful with learning differences.”