Graham Paine has worked at Forman School for six years and serves as an English Teacher. Graham has dyslexia and says he relates to Forman students as he understands their challenges.
“I have a greater empathy for my students' struggles in the classroom because I had and still have many of the same struggles,” he says. “I understand that a students’ frustration with school work is not from laziness or lack of ability, but that it is because they learn differently and that difference can be a strength, but it takes more time and effort to tap into and express that strength in a way that is understood and accepted within the confines of an often more traditional academic world.”
Graham says he often tells students about his own experience with having a learning difference, and that it presents an opportunity for him to share his journey of how he got to where he is today.
“They are sometimes surprised, but they are often interested in why I am working in a field that was so hard when I was a student and the work I put in to get where I am,” he says. “They appreciate my message of how I embraced my dyslexia and leaned into how my brain sees problems differently as a benefit.”
He adds that his children also have learning differences and “that sharing their experiences helps students see how much they have achieved and that they too can be a mentor to others with LDs.”
Graham also advises students at Forman to think about their success in a variety of ways.
“Follow a passion and embrace thinking about the world from a slightly different perspective than others” he says. “Success does not need to be measured only on a report card. What makes you feel happy and accomplished is also important.”