Trainee teachers with dyslexia: Personal narratives of resilience

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This paper tells the stories of two trainee teachers and their personal experiences of dyslexia. Both informants were English and training to be primary school teachers in England. Through drawing on their own experiences of education, the stories illustrate how dyslexia has shaped the self‐concept, self‐esteem and resilience of each informant. The narratives presented in this paper illustrate powerfully the ways in which teachers can have a positive or negative impact on the self‐concepts of students with dyslexia. Both had been inspired by teachers they had met, and these positive role models had given them the confidence to pursue their own ambitions. However, both had encountered teachers who lacked empathy and patience, and these teachers had a detrimental impact on their self‐concepts. For both of these trainee teachers, personal experiences of dyslexia also shaped their professional identities as teachers. Both trainees described themselves as caring and empathic teachers, suggesting that personal experiences of dyslexia had a positive impact on teacher professional identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-37
JournalJournal of Research in Special Educational Needs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2012


  • Dyselxia
  • self-esteem
  • self-concept
  • trainee teacher


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