Posted 2/19/2007 1:02 PM (GMT -7)
I think if you can hide it, you should. It seems like you have already done a lot of work covering up your poor spelling, and I don't think anyone would notice after you got hired, since you will invariably continue to neaten up your initial writing with spell check and the like. And, to be honest, in this day and age, spelling and punctuation have gone by the wayside quite a bit. People are so used to instant communication and getting it done as fast as possible that spelling errors are fairly par for the course, and wouldn't likely notice yours anymore than a person who just wrote too fast.
Also, once you get hired, getting fired is more difficult. I don't think you can expect that someone will fire you if they find out that you are dyslexic. If you work hard to spell things neatly, then they will likely never know. And even if they do find out, you will probably be contributing so much in other ways, that it will matter little to them. My mother's dyslexic and she works as a nurse. Luckily she's not bad with numbers--hers is mostly spelling too--but she always double checks her numbers on her charts and meds and the like and has never had an error. So there's no reason why you can't conquer and prevail too!
Unless you are helping a single child to read, being able to read books (especially to a group) is not really necessary. Children just need quality time with an adult in most cases. They usually can't see the words from where they are sitting anyways. So there's no reason why you can't bluff your way through this. If the kids are old enough to read, pass the book around and have each child read a page or a paragraph. Kids usually like reading out loud like this. If they're not old enough to read, or that's not the point, then tell them that you like the pictures in this book, but the story is a bit too dull; let's help it out a bit. Then just make up a story based on the pictures. You probably already know what the plot is anyways, but you can always just flesh out the filler bits by looking at the picture, not the words. Also have the kids help you describe the picture and figure out what's going on. Kids don't get to use their imaginations and creativity enough anymore, anyways. And if you have kids that are reluctant to read, you can admit to them that you don't like to read much either, that it's hard for you. But then emphasize that reading is so worthwhile, and makes you so much smarter, that you try everyday to read. And point out to them that if they work hard now, reading will come easier to them as they get older and they won't have to work so hard when they're your age.
I once had a math teacher admit that she didn't like math. She became a math teacher, though, after getting introduced to a very good math teacher in college, who made her like it a whole lot better. That, and she saw it as a challenge, to conquer math. She always said, if I can learn it, so can you. It made her a better teacher, I think, because she knew better how to explain things than a teacher to whom math came naturally. She even counted on her fingers! I didn't feel so slow or stupid in her class because I couldn't remember the whole multiplication table and spit it out really fast. I guess she was the best math teacher I had in school. So, your "disability" can actually be a wonderful opportunity for helping others overcome theirs, because who else understands it better? I bet you'd be good working with people who are physically handicapped or sick too; again, sympathy goes a long ways.