The fact that all people think and learn differently isn’t something we talk about nearly enough. Octavia Spencer recently opened up about her dyslexia, and it was so nice to hear a successful public figure talk about something so often misunderstood. Since dyslexia can make reading very difficult for those who have it, and since reading is obviously a core component and meter of progress in the typical school system, it’s easy for dyslexic students to get misrepresented as less intelligent, or difficult, or lazy.
But Octavia Spencer knew just how to put it:
She went on to explain how growing up, she was tested for the Gifted program because she was very intelligent despite her dyslexia — her abilities and intelligence just exhibited differently than other kids who might find it easier to have their intelligence recognized when they excel at typical tasks like reading and writing.
Octavia also had some great wisdom about the importance of good educators in schools, and moreover, the importance of appreciating educators.
“I had great teachers and I think teachers should be paid as much as athletes. When you think about it, they spend the majority of the day with your kids so they should be compensated. They’re also teaching them and shaping their views about themselves. I feel very fortunate that in the public school system in Montgomery, Alabama, I had some wonderful teachers.”
We think it’s amazing and inspiring that Octavia Spencer is so open about her experiences, and we’re sure it means a lot to other children and adults with dyslexia!