Survey 2018

2018 MN Teacher Survey

created by DDMN


Thank you to all our participants






















Please share any comments you have regarding your college/university degree(s) and how they have prepared you to teach dyslexic students?

  • I feel like Dyslexia was a term I hadn't heard a lot about my first few years of teaching, but I have definitely heard more about this the past few years. I have had several students diagnosed as Dyslexic and I don't feel that I have enough training or knowledge to successfully help my students or provide families with resources on how to help at home.
  • I feel like dyslexia has been a taboo word in school, although I have some students who, after researching it myself, have some symptoms and/or their parents have concerns. I'm often not sure how to address these concerns or how best to help the students.
  • We were told that Dyslexia does not exist—that is not why we see students reverse their b/d’s.  
  • I have had an extremely difficult time writing my capstone project about dyslexia. Over the course of 2 years I had to continue to stand up for what I know about dyslexia.  One of the areas I couldn’t find evidence in is what this survey is collecting data for. There is a great need for data acceptable in the research world to support what we all know is true. Even though I found adequate research to support the project the College of St. Scholastically Education program continued to question the validity of my project (A simplified handbook for classroom teachers with basic tools for identifying and teaching children with dyslexia). One of the reading specialists at CSS reviewed my work and her responses terrified me. She had no clue about what is going on with children who were unlike her own children who didn’t struggle. In early Fall NPR aired that fantastic piece about dyslexia and I sent it to my advisor. He listened to it and that was the start of me winning over his interest. I am happy to say that I am finally almost done with this project.
  • I feel that as an educator with multiple degrees,  colleges are stretched to meet all of the standards and requirements necessary. Colleges are charged with ensuring teachers are prepared to meet the needs of students with a variety of needs, alongside understanding theory and practice of literacy, math, social, disabilities, due process/law, etc. This charge is nearly impossible in a 4 year program. As teachers, it is our responsibility to meet the needs of all students. Colleges focusing on data informed practices where educators are taught how to read data and meet student needs is critical. Understanding the theory of reading is also critical in order to use the data provided by students. Reading theory is much more complex that learning how to say words. In fact, an overemphasis of learning how to say words can be a detriment to a child. They become reliant on one source of information and can make reading even harder. The brain processes text using multiple sources. Educating teachers on how the brain wholly processes is beneficial to new teachers entering the field.  
  • Dyslexia was noted as a medical model not educational model-we did not address it nor were we trained to teach students with this disability.
  • It's also about helping parents support their students, too.
  • Not prepared at all.
  • When I was in college, dyslexia was discussed as something that really did not exist--there was no such thing at that time. Two years ago I took a course and asked about that theory. She said that at that time, dyslexia was defined differently and covered a wide realm of symptoms so was debated by several different spectrums.  Since then, it has been more specified and is not in contention with other theories so I continue to be interested in it but I just haven't availed myself of other opportunities for learning more.
  • I'd like to know what MDE endorses as effective programs for dyslexia.  
  • I believe we were educated about Dyslexia and to recognize it as a reason students were having difficulty in class. I have looked to SPED teachers to help with students who are dyslexic and provide ways to help them in class.
  • I attended an intense dyslexia training with Susan Barton.
  • Dyslexia was never mentioned in any undergrad or graduate classes.
  • When I was in college, there was not enough training done to prepare us for working with children with special needs. Much of my knowledge of Special Education practices, EL, etc. comes from my years of teaching.
  • I really feel these students are unidentified in our schools and I (among other teachers) are underprepared to meet their specific needs effectively.
  • They Didn't at all! I took a training from Susan Barton!
  • I think it would be great if education programs could create a course geared toward identifying learning struggles in the classroom. One course would probably not be enough but at least it would be one more than they have right now!
  • No preparation at Concordia University St. Paul MN  I did my own research paper on the Orton-Gillingham Method of Instruction during that time, but it was my own interest that drove the research. I remember professors at the time worried because the movement was starting to require colleges to include more classes geared towards dyslexia and they didn't seem to see the need for it.
  • As mentioned above, dyslexia was brought up in several courses, but never in great detail. I feel this is the same with other learning differences such as autism, speech disorders, behavioral difficulties, LD, EBD, English language learners, as well as things such as teaching students with reactive attachment disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, etc. There are so many learning differences (not one more important from another) that if we had extensive coursework in each learning difference, a degree in education would take a long time. I would much rather have this learning take place during continuing education once a degree is earned. Learning about these differences while in the classroom is more valuable and can be put into action much sooner. I know that as I have taught, when I have a student with a unique learning difference, I take it upon myself to learn all I can about how to help that student make gains and have a successful year in school.
  • Whole language method was used in my teaching courses for my BA. There was no emphasis on how to teach students with dyslexia at any of the universities I attended. My last degree was in library administration.
  • Thank you for making this a priority!
  • Outside to formal education-
  • I had my student teaching in NY, it lasted for 12-14 weeks (It was a long time ago, I don't remember the specifics). It was WAY too short. I believe longer student teaching, in a variety of settings is MUCH more valuable than much of my coursework.
  • Basic instruction
  • I feel this is an area where I am unable to help my students. When I reach out for assistance from my special education staff, they state that it is not really a problem they do anything with. My question is who is knowledgeable
    to help these students? Where do we reach out for help if no one seems to know.
  • Very little, if any, training on how to best teach dyslexic students
  • I have not gained my knowledge through the college/university system. My knowledge came from personal reading, videos, The Reading Center in Rochester, IDA-UMB, and
  • We don’t spend any time on dyslexia, special ed, or gifted ed unless it’s a special program we want to be endorsed in. Every new teacher MUST be competent in many of the fields that we lack understanding (as mentioned above and also multicultural education).
  • Reading center - Orton Gillingham is the best training I have received for dyslexia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
  • If I remember correctly I was required to take one SPED class, I wish we would have been required to take more along with classes on interventions.
  • SLD licensure
  • Winona State did a wonderful job preparing me for my teaching experience. The one thing it lacked was how to address dyslexia and meet students needs. It’s one of my biggest challenges. A lot of people I go to in our school are not that knowledgeable in it as well.
  • We never spoke of differentiation in a class. Did not mention Tier 1, Tier 2 or 3.
  • I am so disappointed in the lack of preparation I had in regards to what Dyslexia is, how to identify it, and who to seek for assistance with intervention.
  • I was not prepared at all! Very sad for all the students in my first few years of teaching that had dyslexia in my class.
  • Dyslexia is a medical diagnosis. Students who have that diagnosis usually are well off or attend private schools where they are more likely to seek a diagnosis outside the educational system. In education, we use the term reading disability in the area of reading or print disability. That is likely why you will find teachers are more prepared to define and provide instruction related to a learning disability. I think if you look at the term dyslexia exclusively, you will be missing the equity piece of the fact that many students with a learning disability in reading do not have that label. I work at a high poverty school. No students have been labeled dyslexic. Teacher don’t walk around talking about the term dyslexia. We do talk about helping kids with reading disabilities.
  • My educational background is Early Childhood Special Education. We had minimal training on literacy instruction during my college program.
  • They could not teach me something which they were not taught.
  • Took OG level 1 and 2 during the summer months
  • They did not say anything about dyslexia in any of my college courses. I have had to do trainings all on my own.
  • Although my masters program did not specifically study dyslexia often, I chose to use my coursework as a way to dive deeper into current educational research
  • A "balanced literacy" approach was promoted during my coursework. This approach is ineffective. It is not explicit or systematic enough. I have a child with dyslexia and have done extensive independent research. All students, including those with dyslexia, learn best from a structured literacy approach.
  • I have had to educate myself and pay for my own educational development and graduate course work to learn about dyslexia. I was told my son had a learning disability when he was 7, it wasn't until he was 18 that we found out it was dyslexia. I now use the Orton Gillingham method when teaching my classroom students and my tutoring students.
  • I feel that I had no preparation or information about dyslexia or how to identity and teach dyslexic students.
  • St. Mary's University; graduate level K-12 reading certificate. The program addressed the needs of EL and students with dyslexia. As a 5-12 Communication Arts and Literature license holder, I was never given instruction in how to teach any students how to read. I took one semester course in SpEd; dyslexia might have been mentioned, but I don't remember it. My training through St. Mary's was helpful because it taught me how to teach the big rocks of literacy to students learning how to read and write, and it also taught me how to intervene for students whose reading development arrested along the way. I can assess learners to find out where they got stuck and implement interventions to meet their needs at whatever level they're at.
  • They have not
  • My college did a phenomenal job preparing me for teaching, with the exception of Dyslexia.
  • My Master's was in Early Childhood Special Education - so learning disabilities of any type were not included which is appropriate,  so I don't think it is appropriate to include my responses about my Master's. But I did not get enough info in my bachelors program and it was so long ago if I was teaching Elementary level I would definitely need more information and updated information.
  • There was very little instruction on HOW TO TEACH READING. Mostly theory and how to set up Daily 5.
  • They didn’t. Our district has not provided training either.
  • They didn't

If there is anything else you would like us to know, please include it here.

  • Colleges need to address this reading disability more than they do. It is more specific than just falling under the SLD sped classification. The interventions needed to teach those with Dyslexia are very specific and greatly needed.
  • My son has dyslexia.  I am a teacher and I had no idea. None of his teachers (special ed or general ed) never knew either. We pulled him out to attend Groves. When he started at Goves, he was so low they questioned taking him. Teachers need to be educated and kids need to be taught in a way that is proven to work for kids with dyslexia.
  • I would like to learn more about Orton-Gillingham's program. We looked at it a little through St. Mary's, but I'd love to learn more.
  • I have a personal connection with and they have great resources regarding dyslexia for parents and educators
  • Every district should have a dyslexia specialist.
  • I am also a parent of a child with Dyslexia who has received public school services since second grade. We supplemented with private school services and/or tutoring grades 1-5. As a now seventh grader, he has received adequate supports from the public schools for only 1 of the 3 years he has been a full time public school student. Fifth grade services were excellent and appropriately addressed his needs. Services in sixth and seventh grades have been inadequate.  
  • Thank you for all you do!!
  • I sit on a board at the U of MN Twin cities, the College Dean is a Social Worker. I find it odd that the main college responsible for all degrees in Education are in the hands of a social worker.  I find it also frustrating that the College of Ed and the College of EdPsy do not communicate or take classes from each others discipline.
  • The survey is problematic in that it assumes undergraduate teacher preparation. The U of MN is almost all post-bacc, so that’s where people would learn about what you are asking about.
  • I searched out my own course offerings because there is not much shared at my district for PD opportunities. I share with staff regularly opportunities for trainings. I wish this came from ADMIN instead of me... more teacher would take notice if there was a focus to educate admin. Hopefully it would trickle down to teachers. I have been advocating with my current administrator with no luck. :(
  • When the laws first came out about dyslexia I started mentioning it to my principal and superintendent. My administration said we would not teach this type of student any differently then we do now. They also would not acknowledge dyslexia as a possibility and were not willing to discuss the possibility with parents when they brought it up. This is extremely frustrating for me and  I think the administration needs to be trained and informed as well because they do not listen to teachers.
  • Why is Dyslexia not tested for in the schools? In the district I teach in, parents have to go to the doctor and then are referred to someone/where for testing. I know other states test in the schools.
  • My bachelors degree is from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Thank you. I hope to take a class to be more informed but currently do not have the funds.
  • Thank you! Please contact me if You have more questions about my experience with CSS.