When teaching kids with a learning disability, you have to have patience and the ability to build confidence. A Richardson ISD elementary teacher is doing just that: helping her students embrace the challenges of living with dyslexia.
That’s why she’s January’s Excellent Educator.
“What is something you want other kids to know about your dyslexia,” said Kimberly Sanders in an educational video featuring her students. “Just because you have dyslexia, doesn’t mean you’re not smart,” said a Canyon Creek Elementary 4th grader.
A YouTube video made by 4th graders with dyslexia at Canyon Creek Elementary in Richardson has a goal to educate.
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“I think the absolute biggest misunderstanding about dyslexia is that people who are dyslexic are not smart. That is something that people think, and it’s something that’s perpetuated and something that the kids start to own if we don’t do something about it,” said Kimberly Sanders, who pushes for her students to discover their strengths and help them adopt a growth mindset.
“At the end of the day, it’s about making people feel good, and making people understand what the truth is, and what is truth and what is fiction,” said Sanders. “There is a lot of misunderstanding out there.”
“They absolutely adore her. She rewards them. She acknowledges them. She empowers them to be self-advocates,” said Shannon Suess, Richardson ISD Dir. of Dyslexia programming. “They feel proud. It’s a community.”
Sanders is being praised for helping to break down the misconceptions and barriers to dyslexia by encouraging her young students who thought they had a disability to believe in themselves.
“She’s really nice, and like supports us,” said Bella Meredith, Canyon Creek Elementary 4th Grader.
Bella has been working with Mrs. Sanders since she was in kindergarten.
“I can spell more things when I go on, and I know like different sounds that I didn’t know,” said Meredith.
Sanders has a passion for excellence and wants to see her students succeed no matter what.
“In recognition of you receiving the Excellent Educator Award, on behalf of SMU, we’re delighted to present to with a $1,000 check for Canyon Creek Elementary,” said SMU representative, Luisa Del Rosal. “We want to partner with teachers that are finding creative innovative ways to help kids succeed because we do that at SMU, we find and support students wherever they are in their learning process.”