Friday, 14 April 2017

One Size Fits All (April 14, 2017)

You don't see me
As I struggle.

Against the stream
I must follow
Like a spawning Salmon
For my education.
Trying to fit
My square peg
Into your circular hole
Without destroying

The nightly tears
Of frustration
And anger.

Of a blank page
Before me
To be marked
With red ink.

Your snide comments
Calling me:

Needs to apply
Their self
To the task
At hand."

Working harder
Then the other students
To finish 
The assigned work.

Feeling betrayed
At the year end
Report card.

Bitter tears flowing
Upon seeing
For having
A learning disability.

Therisa © 2017

Author's note: In June 1977, my grade one teacher failed me, as a result of my various learning disabilities. Along with, 6 other students, in my class. Needless to say, her contract wasn't renewed, for the following year, by the local school board. Throughout my academic career, I have been, in and out, of special educational classes, due to various reasons (learning disabilities to the gifted program).

In Ontario, under provincial law, a school (whether, at the elementary or secondary level) can reject a transferring student's request for support, although, they have documented evidence when transferring, within the same school board. Regardless, of the fact, the learning assessment, was paid for, by the taxpayers of that same board. Never mind, if they are coming, from another school board. 


  1. I am so glad we know so much more about learning abilities now. I grew up terrified of (and flummoxed by) math. I deemed it "math dyslexia" my whole life, thinking I was just making it up. Turns out it's a real thing: dyscalculia. We all think and learn differently. It's just that simple. This is a powerful, important piece.

  2. I wish my learning disabilities were limited, to just one area, De, but cross over, to every facet of my everyday life. During my first learning assessment, during grade 7 (1983-4), was found to have a vocab level of grade 11, reading comprehension of 1st year university, and spelling at 25th percentile for my age group. My average report card was, in the D+ to C- range. Plus, various other areas that I have learning disabilities, in. Hard cruel jokes made about my spelling abilities, which had a teacher laughing at me. Sigh.

  3. Despite the barriers, the snide remarks, the laughing, the poor assessments here you are. Bravo to you. Let's celebrate that and your ability to craft a wonderfully articulate poem.

  4. I'm glad that at least your grade one teacher's contract was not renewed. But a pity they didn't get on to her misbehaviour a lot earlier.

  5. I fear that at least here in the USA we are rapidly sliding backward to the time you describe, when students who might learn in different ways were written off--and so young, too--as lazy or whatever. No more energy need be spent on those kids, easier to just discard. The obliviousness (at best) or plain cruelty of the current administration is a huge concern! I'm glad to know you years later, looking back on these times and able to see the ways you were able to thrive despite experiences like this.

  6. Oh I know the struggle of learning disability and the write off. My youngest daughter has dyslexia. The school district failed her so horrible I took out her freshman year of high school and home schooled her. She went on to earn Bachelor's and Master's degree in the theater.


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